I lived for half a century without ever knowing how to use a computer. Didn’t have a clue what I was missing so I didn’t miss it. I was perfectly happy letting technology pass me by. I was content to do nothing with my dining room table except clean it and use it to dine on. Family and friends spent many hours in my home gathered around that dining room table for good food and good times. In 2001 with the introduction of a computer to the top of my dining room table all that changed. Life as I knew it came to a screeching halt and I was reborn as the dork who thinks she can teach herself how to use a computer.
I was so proud of my accomplishments. I managed to con my step-son out of the Printmaster Gold disk so I could operate that program so conveniently installed on the computer I didn’t want. I learned to make my own business cards, brochures and specialty labels for the items I was painting and selling. Having the computer and learning how to use it allowed me entrance to a better class of craft fairs held by Art and Community Centers in my area. I helped me get my items into gift shops in Old Forge, NY and in Sacketts Harbor, NY. I was making money with something I loved doing. All because I had learned to use a computer.
All that came to a screeching halt when my Mom became sick. She spent the next 2 years in and out of hospitals, rehab facilities and nursing homes until her death in March of 2006. That day I spent trying to reach all members of my family and couldn’t find Youngest Step-son. He had no idea what had happened when he came waltzing in with a big smile on his face because he’d gone and purchased a new computer for me. I admit, I wasn’t very gracious about it. At the time, losing a Mom and gaining a new computer somehow just didn’t thrill me. However, I’m a fast learner and it didn’t take me long to realize that I could hide from my grief online.
After 5 years of playing around with an old computer that didn’t have enough left in it to go online, I was online. I was exposed to a world I never knew existed. One in which anything I wanted to know was at my fingertips. A click of the mouse would take me all over the world. I could meet new people, talk to people I would never have imagined existed. It was a world I didn’t know about and in which I spent major amounts of time. So much time that we finally bought a computer hutch and managed to get the no longer unwanted computer off my diningroom table and into a place all of it’s own.
In the real world I had to deal with loss. In the real world I had to shop fairly regularly for new clothes, always one size larger than the last time I went shopping. In the real world I had to listen to my doctor explain to me that my increasing weight was elevating my blood pressure and I was placing myself in danger of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Each time I would make a half hearted attempt to get control, but always the call of the internet would win out. Finally, I just gave up going to the doctor.
Last week I started having troubles with the computer. The CD/DVD drive went and I discovered that a new one will not fit this old computer. During the search for one that would fit I also discovered that the cooling fan wasn’t working. Which was the most likely cause of the death of the CD/DVD drive. Since I had to do a lot of walking to get to the various shops where I might likely find something that would work as a replacement, I discovered that round might be a shape, but it really isn’t a good one.
Everything is fixed with used replacement parts. The CD driver is able to play CD’s but for some reason it doesn’t care to write any. I got around that with a Flash drive. The fan is now functioning and my tower innards are free from dust and cat hair. I’ve made a promise to myself that no matter what, I will not buy a new computer until I’ve lost at least half of the weight I gained in my 4 years online. Since this promise means that should my computer give up before I’ve lost those 22 pounds, I won’t have access to the internet. I think I better go take a walk.