with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
This is the week of nothing going right. I’m used to the hard weeks by now, but this one takes the cake.
My old MacBook was running hot and unhappy. I had stuffed it to the gills with photos and music, and I knew its days were numbered. So I bit the bullet and ordered a new one, since writing and photography are What I Do. I figured I shouldn’t feel guilty for that. But of course, of course, I did. Starving children in the world! My children are starving from their self-imposed vegetable strike! Earthquakes! Floods! Who am I to think about a new computer?
Then I decided I wouldn’t be able to help anybody if I didn’t complete a freelance assignment from time to time.
The new computer arrived, all shiny and fabulous and wonderful. I was determined to Do This On My Own. This is my first computer I would be setting up with no help from any men in my life. I wanted to rock my own world and transfer everything from the old Mac to the new one with zero assistance. I wanted to hear myself roar, baby.
I had even purchased the right Firewire cable adapter. 400 to 800. How clever was I, to realize that I would need such a thing? Oh, thought I, so clever. The instructions were simple enough. I plugged the two computers together, followed the “Migration Assistant,” which, come to think of it, I could use in my real life. “MIGRATE ME TO THE OCEAN, STAT.” Poof! Done!
Unfortunately, nothing happened. I mean nothing. Zip. Zero. After swearing in high style for an hour and trying to repeat the process, with still no success, I called the online Apple folks. Did I get a woman on the phone, someone to roar with? Uh, no. No, I first got Oscar, who told me I was doing all the right things, but it sounded like I’d have to use an external hard drive to transfer things back and forth.
“Oh my God,” I said. “You mean like a lifeboat. The external hard drive thingie is a lifeboat, and my old computer with all of my old files is the Titanic.”
“Welllll,” said Oscar, “Lifeboat is a good metaphor, but let’s not go as far as the Titanic.”
I took down the instructions from Oscar, and bid him a fond farewell from the ocean of my deep, growing anxiety. We hung up.
I went to work. I managed to transfer music and photos, at least most of them, using my bright orange (the color of a life vest, I realize now, ominous omen) La Cie external hard drive. Oscar said to concentrate on that first, and then get the files.
Mind you, like all tragic tales, there is a tragic character flaw in play. My fatal flaw was not backing up recently. Oof. That jolt? That’s us hitting the tip of the little ol’ iceberg, yeah.
Suddenly, my old computer just shut itself off. Oh no. No no no no no no. I tried to get it up and running in Firewire mode (hold down the ‘T’! hold down the ‘T’! who knew?) but every time it would wake up, a terrible BEEEEEEEEP would occur, then the apple would appear on the screen, and the screen would go blank.
I called Apple again with my case number clutched in my hand, on a sweaty Post-It. This time, I got Joseph. A good name for me. Both my grandpas, my dad and my brother were and are Joes. Joseph could sense my panic and tried to talk me off the ledge. We worked together to do all we could when I started to lose my feminista sensibilities. I started to sniffle and gulp. So much for my badass techie fierceness. Because this is the stuff that my ex would have helped me with. This is the stuff he would have taken care of for me. This is the stuff that any of my exes, actually, would have taken care of for me, while I cleaned the toilet, happy to be dealing with only a toilet brush and some Lysol with Bleach Bowl Cleaner.
And to Joseph’s enormous great credit, he said to me calmly and firmly: “You are NOT going to call your ex-husband, ma’am.”
I fell in love at that moment. It is, of course, an unrequited love. Cupertino, CA is not close enough for me to suggest a glass of nice Pinot Noir around the corner. But I loved Joseph because he wanted me to succeed, on my own terms.
Except I did not succeed. I am convinced someone has hired someone to put a Saskatchewan voodoo hex on me. We tried everything, Joseph and I, and God forgive me, I admit I had Bonnie Tyler in my head singing “Holding Out for a Hero.” Maybe that is why God decided to wallop me over the noggin this time.
“Oh no,” said Joseph from Cupertino, over the line. “That terrible beep? That’s not good. Shut off the old computer.”
“You could tell that from all the way where you are?” I asked.
“Yes, ma’am. That beep…yeah. That’s not good.”
“I think I am going to cry, Joseph. I’m not breathing very well.”
“You’re going to be okay. You really are. I’ve got what we’ve done documented here in the computer, under your case number, so when you take it to the Apple Store? They’ll be able to see what we did.”
“My life really, really sucks, Joseph.”
“I know, ma’am.” He laughed. “But you did everything right. It just sounds like the old one is going.”
Maybe this is a sign that I need the old one to go. A sign that I need all the old stuff to die an overheated circuit board death. I have an appointment today at the nearest Apple store, at the Genius Bar. They book only in 15-minute appointment slots. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. I signed up for two, but didn’t want to look greedy. Besides, they’ll see soon enough that we’ll be having a sleepover.
If only Joseph were going to be there. We could caress my old MacBook together, bump hands shyly over the case of my new MacBook, blush. I imagine Joseph blushes, the dear lad. I would look into his eyes and say, “Is it too late for me to purchase the One to One support option?”
So much for feminism.
But I am still not calling my ex-husband. Small victories, here at Chez Jenny.
Subscribe to blog via RSS