…a new laptop. It should be arriving any moment, if the Fed Ex tracking information is to be believed.
It was conceived in a place I had never heard of before, Kunshan City, China, and then onto Shanghai, and then soon to my door, in a ridiculously fast turnaround time from order to delivery. By the miracle of modern technology, my laptop’s gestation period seems to be a miraculous 10 days. At least it seems fast to me, an “old school” computer person. The last time I ordered a computer, the tower and monitor were delivered in boxes covered in cow spots, and only then delivered in two hotly debated installments. Oh, how many times I battled with ironically named customer service folk in order to get that computer – it was shameful. Months of arguing and lies were involved. I wouldn’t buy a windshield wiper blade from that company now if it was the only one in the world that fit my peculiarly small wipers. But that was then.
Now, I called up the customer service person after studying the website, and talked through what I needed. This being my first laptop ever – I know! – I am sure to have effed up somehow, and will be the laughingstock of more seasoned laptop owners. I don’t care, though, because I am anxious to join the over-caffeinated throngs who settle down for some good old-fashioned internet time in the many coffee shops nearby. I want to be that person who can do something constructive when stuck in an airport for hours. I want to be able to keep up with my email and Facebook when away on vacation, without having to resort to the one iffy hotel computer during the off-hours when no one else is waiting to use it, or borrowing the laptop brought by a traveling companion, only while attempting to use it, looking like a monkey discovering a new tool that might be helpful to reach a banana.
Of course, seeing that my computer was made in China brought up a whole spinning cloud of anxious thoughts, all mixed together. Is this the abbreviated version of the wait that adoptive parents experience when getting a new daughter from China? No, that has to be much more complicated emotionally, financially and paperwork-wise. This was too simple. But are the workers getting a reasonable wage for putting together my new toy? For the price I paid for it, they damn well better be. Is the factory clean enough so that the delicate innards of my computer will not be compromised? Well, the company has a good reputation, so one should hope so. Even still, with the many stories of toxins found in goods manufactured in China, I will be very careful not to put any of the parts of my new computer in my mouth – no matter how much I might want show it affection.
Unfortunately, the shiny new toy needs to be put into action immediately for the show, and I am always anxious about having to try out new technology in front of people without adequate time to learn its ways. For example, I am still addicted to my mouse, and the idea of dragging my finger around a very tiny space, tapping twice for this and once for that and so forth, has not caught on in my primitive reptilian brain. I’m afraid that the first forays into my taking over some of the technical aspects of the show will be a trial by fire episode, and there I will be again, tapping the paddle and hoping for a banana pellet to come out. (Cue the chimpanzee noises). So, while I am learning how to play with the new toy, please be gentle. The next time you see us, it’ll still be brand spanking new, and still have that new computer smell. And I will be billing and cooing at it like the new baby it is – until the first time I drop it, anyway.