I have had the best intentions to write all week. The best laid plans…..gone awry.
We all have our nemesis in life. Mine is Verizon. Verizon has plagued me for years. I began to suspect that there was a plot to bump me off the internet when I first signed up with them years ago. I have been bumped many times for no apparent reason. And it only happens in my apartment, not my next door neighbor or the person who lives below me. What else could I think? For this position, I have been referred to as a drama queen and that may be a true but I am the one who lives in the third rung of computer hell. Nevertheless, when the accidental moment that I am kicked off the internet by the “main office,” I am set upon by demons for days. I live with continual anxiety and frustration This time my internet phone was part of this insidious plot to deprive me of my major source of communication, except for my cell phone, which still worked. Thank you T-Mobile.
That being said, I usually call the most dependable man I know in the world to rescue me, (the exception is my best friend, John, my tango student and loyal supporter of my drama queen existence). John knows nothing about anything electrical. He can’t even work a DVD player. He just adores that I wig out and act like a female King Lear and rail against the electronic universe.
The week began well after my extended stay in Las Vegas. I was tired last Monday but taught my classes with assurance. On Tuesday, I awoke to no internet and no internet phone. Now, I love my internet phone, courtesy of my son, Jonathan, who owns the company that supplies broadband to rural areas around the country. His internet services also provides VOIP (voice over internet provider;, i.e., phone service that is connected to the internet). It’s most efficient and very inexpensive. It’s like Vonnage but it’s call Keyon.
The week previous, I was kicked off my internet for no reason and Verizon reconfigured my moden. It worked but my phone was dead. Verizon insisted on sending me a new modem because mine was old. When it arrived, I called Verizon to reconfigure it. For two days, the minutes ticking off on my cell phone, no one at that company could reconfigure the new modem. Finally, on Wednesday, I asked for a manager. Over an hour later, he told me it was my internet phone that was at fault! “No,” I said with over the top hostility, “the phone isn’t the problem. You can’t put the blame on an internet phone with its own router. You are the problem because you don’t know what you are doing! Next call is to the Better Business Bureau.” It went on and on and I finally had to give it up to the universe because I had to teach a class.
By Wednesday evening, after having spent hours under my desk plugging in cable to one box and then another, I was in tears and dripping with sweat. LA is experiencing a heat wave and I have no air conditioning. Drama queen time. I left to go dancing because what is a girl to do? Dancing tango was the only option. I limped out the door, clothes sticking everywhere on my body wondering where was my white night when I needed him?
I called my white night, my tech guy, to tell him of my problem. Now, he’s a very busy guy in LA. He’s the go-to Mac guy. He’s the one we all depend on to solve our problems. He’s the mensch among mensches. Gasping for air because I was in at a stand still in traffic on Santa Monica Blvd, in the middle of West Los Angeles, I poured out my story on my almost dead cell phone. “I’ll be there in the morning,” Joel said.
What guy do you know that leaps to help a woman in distress without asking questions? I felt like the Medieval lady in the tower waiting to be rescued by my white knight. No censuring. No admonishing. No questions asked. “I’ll be there in the morning.”
And he came at nine in the morning and it took him less than seven minutes to fix the problem and my internet phone was working.
But it got me thinking not just about the men I have known who make unkind comments about a woman’s lack of tech knowledge (although I’m pretty good at understanding what needs to be done and I wasn’t far off solving the problem – another day would have done it as I plugged one cable wire into another input into another input). But I what was most terrifying was that I began to understand that my brain had irrevocably attached itself to my computer. I couldn’t bloody think without it. It thought for me. My computer ran my life. It was my life. OMG!
I’m ashamed to cop to the state of my mind. I had been writing on my Mac for two years straight on my book, and I couldn’t survive without it for one day, one night, one minute, one second. Has my computer truly become me and I, in turn, have become my computer. Yes, damnit!
I vowed then and there that I would try, really try let it go, to find my brain again, the brain without the computer, the brain that could actually create without a keyboard.
First vow: I’m not taking my computer to my yoga retreat at the end of the month.
Second vow: I’m not taking my computer to Bali in August.
Third vow: I’m only going to only use my computer to set up the marketing of my book, Sixty, Sex, & Tango, to set up a book signing, to interface with others only when is necessary (except for a few people). I mean really a few people like my publisher, my marketing counselor, the person who will shoot another tango video for me in August, the subs who will teach my classes when I’m gone, and, oh, yes, my other computer addicted friend whose brain is also attached to his computer. What would he do without me?
My name is Joan and I am an addict. I think I need to review the 12 steps.