I blame the microwave for my bizarre attention span.
The microwave made me understand 30 seconds. Thirty seconds is a long time when you are heating a corndog, coffee, or TheraFlu. When it’s the time between your husband picking up the Twinkie box and then realizing his lovely, delicate flower of a wife HAD to have pounded back three of those devil spongecakes in rapid succession because this morning there were some left and now there aren’t? Thirty seconds ain’t so much.
I get positively stabby waiting for my hotdog to cook, but I am perfectly capable of spending two or three hours looking at freakish hot dog ads from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Downloading a new Twitter client takes forever, but I can take days—DAYS—agonizing about which of the more than 1800 Twitter apps I want. Printing pictures seems like I might as well be chiseling them out of marble, but I can swear I’ve only been editing for an hour; and I’m totally shocked when I look up only to see my husband standing over me asking, WHERE ARE MY TWINKIES, WOMAN?
How did it get to be six? What am I doing with my life? Why did I just suck back three Twinkies?
Technology has made me, as it has many others, ridiculously intolerant of glitches. For two days I have threatened to send my computer flying because a CERTAIN PHOTO EDITOR keeps crashing my system. After twice losing the pictures of grandchildren I am to be editing for my father-in-law, I started poking around to see what was wrong. Somehow I’ve missed a couple of software updates.
Thus begins the cycle of FIND UPDATE DOWNLOAD REBOOT UPDATE DOWNLOAD REBOOT. You know what I mean. All of a sudden I felt like me when I go to my parents’ or in-laws’ house. I’m getting snippy with myself: Whaddya mean you haven’t installed updates during the Obama administration? When was the last time you cleaned out your cache? I know it’s a picture, MOM, but I figured after fifteen years of owning one of them electric home computing machines YOU’D KNOW WHAT I MEAN WHEN I SAY JAY-PEG! AND QUIT DOWNLOADING EVERYTHING TO YOUR DESKTOP!
Right then? And you didn’t see this because, well, what sort of sense would that make? But right then I just lost an hour and a half. Doing what? Oh, gosh, well first I listened to this new song then that made me remember this other song I like, and then I remembered I wanted to check out this website, and that made me remember I was trying to make a necklace like the one I saw on this OTHER website that was just way too expensive, and then I got sucked into the Hatch Show Print gallery, then I realized, wow, that was a weird leap from necklaces to letterpress art, then I thought oh yeah, letterpress, I was going to do some calling cards for my mother, and wait, wasn’t I writing something?
I was saying that when the computer and I get into a battle, everything else deteriorates: I can’t find anything to wear to this wedding I have to go to. Oh, wait, I DO have someth…oh, never mind. My ass has gained a third-grader since I wore that. And then even though the phone hasn’t rung all day, right that second, everyone and their dog starts calling my cell and then the house phone because I didn’t pick up my cell. Then I realize not only do I have to buy a new black skirt (side note: WHY do all plus-size skirts flare out so horribly? They’re all so boxy. I have hips; I might as well show them off. My kingdom for a pegged pencil skirt), I haven’t gotten a present for the adorable couple. Oh, AND I have to go pick up my prescriptions, the price of which could finance a small European country (providing they were willing to give up government-provided fruit and cheese plates), but which I have to have SO I DON’T THROW THE COMPUTER THAT STARTED THIS WHOLE MESS THROUGH THE WINDOW.
All of this to say, the nightly ritual in my house goes something like this:
Husband: Goodnight, I love you.
Me: I love you too. But I hate everyone else.
Husband: I know you do, pumpkin. I know you do.