Thursday, June 14, 2007

An extension of himself

I have proof. Hubs really does think that his computers are an extension of himself. More so than anything else I can think of. I'll explain.

Hubs and I don't often verbally spar. We snip. We gripe. We grow irritated. We "discuss." But the raised voices? Not so much. After 11 years, I guess we've figured out that doesn't really do much good.

Insert computer.

I've mentioned my woes this week. Hubs is rebuilding it, slowly but surely. I'm cranky about the situation. (Did you read that correctly? The SITUATION.) However, God in his merciful wisdom, warned me of the impending crash. I got multiple "blue screens of death" before the real blue screen of death made its appearance. Hubs coached me over the phone while I saved all my word documents onto an external hard drive. (This should have been my first clue.) But he kept getting annoyed. I was panicking, I'll admit it, but I couldn't figure out why he was annoyed when I couldn't make the computer say what he told me it would say. I finally told him, "We are obviously speaking different languages and neither of us have time to translate. I am going to hang up now and try to figure out what you are trying to say [without you repeating it over and over in my ear]."

I figured out how to do what I was supposed to do (and the computer never did say what he told me it would say, but I did get my docs saved).

It never occured to me to be irritated at Hubs for the computer crash. I was irritated that my computer was crashing and hopeful that it would hold off until I got my stuff off. Okay?

Fast forward to this weekend when my computer blue screened for good. While I kept trying to restart it, Hubs kept trying to restart it and kept (what I percieved as) being irritated with me because the computer wouldn't work. As he was home for the weekend, I used his computer to blog and check out my email remotely.

Something about that was irritating me. I think I was having a hard time getting into blogger because I kept trying to sign in with my old blogger username and I forgot that google uses my email for my username...which I forgot because I had my computer set up to remember names and passwords. No irritation at Hubs or his computer AT ALL. Irritation at me.

At my first exclamation of "huff!" (half sigh, half snort, insert your spouses sound of annoyance here) he got snippy.

"What now?!" (nothing, Love, just having a hard time getting signed into blogger....)

There's another clue.

So, the man bought me a hard drive. He put it in my computer. He is slowly getting my stuff back on it. Knowing the importance of internet access to his adoring spouse he got that on there for me and will probably get Outlook and Word (the semi-less urgent "needs") on this weekend. I am happy with this.

But this morning I was having trouble with my fingertip mousepad (I have a laptop (Hub's old one that he gave me for Valentines day two years ago (another clue)) because we haven't turned on our air conditioning yet. And though it isn't hot, it is slightly humid. And fingertip mousepads don't work very well when your fingers are sticky/sweaty. I'm not even sure I knew I was griping. I say stuff. I probably need to concentrate on what I say, but I have been married for a while and I don't guard my words so much.


Hubs snapped something along the lines of, "Well, hook up an external mouse then!" Really snapped. As in raised voice.

And I snapped something along the lines of, "Why are you yelling at me?"

And HE said, "Because everytime you complain about the computer, I feel like you think it is my fault. (emphasis mine) And it's irritating!"

And I said, "It has nothing to do with you! (note: I'm still yelling) I'm irritated because my HANDS ARE SWEATY! Sometimes I'm just irritated with stuff on the computer, I NEVER think of it as your fault!"

Yes, yes, I know. The things people fight about. But as I thought about it this morning I realized that most of the heated arguments we've had over the years have had a computer invloved and this morning I finally figured out why.

If Hubs thinks that a criticism of the computer is criticism of him well, it just goes to show he really does think it is an extension of himself. I've suspected that he felt strongly about his computers, but I had no idea how much he related to them. To me, they are a tool to do what I love (write and communicate) but I think to him they are more like a prosthesis.

Anyway, I hope what I said this morning took. I hope he actually heard me when I said my computer had nothing to do with him. But I'm also going to try to remember that he thinks it does.

And hopefully we can go back to "discussing" money where we know the problem. I think I need to spend less and he thinks he needs to make more. We both know the problem. We both know the solution. And if we both work toward it, surely we'll be okay.

As long as we leave the computer out of it.

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