As I sat on my cushy, porcelain throne, I realized there was no toilet paper, no back up roll, no one at home to call out to, and no drip-dry option. I should have realized then that it was going to be one of those days full of little, aggravating, first-world frustrations and bad energy that test one’s patience and resilience. But I wasn’t that perceptive.
I barely noticed that it was the second day of persistent rain. The relentless, negative ads on morning TV droning in the background were simply white noise. The aches in my neck, shoulders and knees? Not that unusual. The spreading of ISIS and Ebola? Just the same old, same old. When I realized we were out of almond milk, eggs and 2% yogurt, I shrugged it off.
In hindsight, there were a few specific “Don’t Mess With Technology Today” signs that I simply ignored. That morning, my iPhone didn’t recognize my fingerprint. My computer didn’t recognize my printer. The Bluetooth speakers didn’t recognize my music.
But little did I know that soon I would not recognize my self.
As I sat down to work on my computer with the lofty goal of posting an article to Buzzfeed (please, don’t judge…I’m still a little fragile) my mind must have been occupied, because I didn’t hear the technology gods laughing. Had I been more attune to the negative energy of the day, perhaps I would have simply called the BA50 webmaster to post it for me. But I thought I could do it.
Posting a Listicle to Buzzfeed seemed like a pretty simple task. People who make Listicles (not Nobel Prize winners) with funny gifs in them post them all the time…really, how difficult could it be? I figured it would take me an hour or so. It wasn’t as if I had to create the List, I had already done that.
But after two hours of struggling, I couldn’t get the gifs to load. The numbering was not working. And god knows, if you can’t get the numbering right for a Buzzfeed post, you might as well give it up. I saved a draft, and then couldn’t find it again. I attempted to start from scratch, but Buzzfeed wouldn’t let me create another post with the same title. And I wanted that title.
I sought help from my son with a few back and forth emails, but he only suggested things that I had already tried, which simply pissed me off. So I kept plugging away- through lunch, through snacktime, through snacktime 2, mostly trying the same strategies that had already failed to work.
Four hours later, I was no closer to posting. I had literally done nothing productive all day. My eyes welled up with tears. I felt a strong compulsion to throw my computer out the window. Or eat a pound of M & Ms, but I had cleared the house of those. I chose to lash out.
“WHY AREN’T YOU HELPING ME?” I emailed my son. “I ALWAYS help YOU when YOU need it!!!” I think I expected him to leave his own work, come home, give me a big mom hug, and then do it for me. That was so not happening.
And yes, I used three exclamation points and the caps in my email. I should NEVER use all caps (unless, of course I am emailing “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH FOR TRYING TO HELP ME!!!”)
Who was this angry, depressed, miserable person?
It was about 4:00PM when I said “Uncle” to the day, curled up on the couch, and fell asleep under a blanky. When I woke, I called my son to apologize, though I couldn’t shake the doom and gloom.
“I’m sorry about the email,” I told him. “I know you were trying to help. I’m just having a really bad day.” And I started to sob.
“Mom, are you ok? If it makes you feel better, I’ve never been happier.” (This kid has an abundance of natural Seratonin.)
“I’m OK,” I told him through heavy sobs, “but can you just promise me… just promise me….that I’ll have grandchildren some day?”
I am not quite sure how I got from Buzzfeed to Grandchildren in 3 seconds, but I did.
“Loads of them, mom, you’ll have loads of grandchildren.”
What a difference a day makes.
Today, the sun warms my shoulders as I water the mums outside (at least the ones I haven’t murdered yet.) Five orange pumpkins by the front door foretell of a night this week when two of my adult kids will come home to carve Jack o’ Lanterns, just like we did in the old days. The Bluetooth is back, the fingerprints are working, and so far, no problems printing.
Looking back, perhaps the technology gods were not testing my patience and resilience. Perhaps they were not laughing at me at all. Perhaps they were just trying to tell me that I should stop writing Listicles and trying to post them to Buzzfeed. They wouldn’t be the first ones to tell me that.
So, I’m listening…at least for now.