During the six day wait, I reverted to dial-up. Dial-up! The “squeeeescrrccchhsquee” sound alone makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. But surfing the web...it made me realize how much better my life is because of high-speed Internet access. I know there are people out there who still use telephone modems, but I am positive they don’t listen to podcasts or NPR live feeds, update web sites, juggle five open web pages at once, or surf photo blogs. It made me feel like Caddie Woodlawn, like I should be wearing shoes that button with a tool and churning my own butter. Sitting there and darning my socks while I waited for graphics to load, I wondered if I will ever reach a point in my life when I yearn for the “good old days” — a time before digital cable, DSL, GPS, TiVo, Netflix, and online bill pay.
I have considered wishing to be a teenager again (I don’t actually make the wish, because I don’t want to end up in some Freaky Friday/13 Going on 30 situation). At 16, I could lose three lbs. in a day. At 18, I didn’t know what a hangover was. At 20, my skin was dewy fresh and my ass was two inches higher than it is now. But am I really willing to give up 10-plus years of technology for a faster metabolism and the ability to drink a grown man under the table? Doubtful. Yes, the Internet was around 10 years ago, but I didn’t depend on technology the way I do now. I can’t remember the last time I used a real phone book. I don’t rent DVDs in person. I order tons of stuff online. I keep track of most of the day-to-day functions of my life using a computer or Blackberry.
On the 6th day, I missed the UPS delivery and sat on my front steps, clutching the yellow slip and weeping. On the following day, I left the office early so I could
At 7 p.m., as I was disconnecting power cords and trying to decide if it would be environmentally safe to burn the DVD player in the fireplace, I heard a shuffling noise on the front porch and ran to the window to see a brown uniform sprinting away from my house and toward his truck. Beating on the glass and screaming, “wait!” didn’t slow him down, so I ran to the front door and wrenched it open just as Brown pulled away from the curb and zero-to-sixtied in about 10 seconds down the street.
Sticker on the door? No sticker on the door. Just as I decided to (hand) write a strongly worded letter telling Brown exactly what it could do for me, I looked down and saw a small box with an Earthlink logo on its side. “Mine!” I squealed, and snatched it to my chest. It’s sick, but I actually embraced the box and kissed it (no tongue) twice before going back inside.
It took me less than five minutes to have working DSL again, during which time I completely forgot about my promise that I would swear off all things technological. And like any addict, I spent the rest of the evening pretending that seven days of withdrawal hadn’t given me nightmares about being pursued by giant screeching modem monsters, made me itch like invisible bugs were crawling under my skin, or caused me to offer certain “services” to the UPS man if he could “hook me up.”
Think this was off the deep end? You should see me during a power outage.