Today is Valentine’s Day and appropriately, I am in love. In fact, I am having an illicit affair – one I suspect is consuming far too much of my time and attention. I am becoming obsessed.
You see, I’ve fallen in love with my laptop and we are truly inseparable (joined at the hip if you will.) I start my day staring into its smiling face – O.K., it isn’t really smiling, but the screensaver photos make it feel as if it is. And although there are periods I leave it behind – it’s always with regret. I can’t help but wish someone would invent a jog along laptop case – workouts would fly by - and waterproof would be good, so after I could shower and catch up on the headlines whilst performing morning ablutions. Because I hate leaving it even for a moment. Luckily, we do spend much of the day together. Even when the boys come home and need homework help, my laptop is nearby. No need for tutors – it knows everything – it’s normal that I depend on it, as I can’t honestly be expected to remember high school algebra this many years later.
I draw the line, however, at inviting my laptop to dinner. There are times I would like to, but I don’t feel right about breaking rules I impose on the rest of the family – the no-electronic-devices-at-the-table one specifically. But after dinner it resumes its rightful place, on my lap. This might be in front of the television, which occasionally claims my attention, but mostly my laptop has my undivided regard.
We of course go to bed together, to my husband’s considerable consternation. Although there are times when it is banished to the night table (too few and far between, he would say) my laptop is always close by. Gone, too, are the nights I would wake, toss and turn till I could sleep again. With a laptop, being an insomniac is not a problem, the screen brightness considerately adjusts to low and my nocturnal self is happily occupied until drowsiness overwhelms.
What’s more, my laptop is the ideal travel companion, coming along wherever I want to go only to amuse me. I baby it when we travel, wrap it in a comfy case and stress immeasurably when it goes through security all naked and exposed in those plastic bins. I’ve even been known to unplug vending machines in airports that don’t have available plugs when my laptop needs some juice.
I’m extremely possessive of it. No one is allowed to touch it but me. I cringe when I see my husband grab his laptop by the screen. Laptop abuse is what that is. I wouldn’t dream of treating mine that way.
My laptop pays me back by being the most wonderful source of information, entertainment and communication. It keeps me in touch with family and friends and occasionally even takes me shopping. Most importantly, it listens to me nonstop - records my every word, but allows me to silence it with a push of a button. Sadly, there aren’t many in my household who treat me as well.
But the thing is, I have a nagging doubt, that great as it feels, it’s maybe not such a good idea for us to be quite so close. I find myself distracted much of the time, waiting for the ‘ping’ of an e-mail or to see what’s new. And my powers of concentration are definitely getting weaker as I depend on it for just about everything. That can’t be good; I’m soon going to need medication for attention deficit disorder. Yes, although it breaks my heart, I’m going to have to distance myself from this relationship. My husband will be delighted, but he’s in the other room at the moment, so perhaps my laptop could do me one last little favor and email him the message. I would go myself, but first I have to get my kids off those darn electronic devices they seem to be on constantly!