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  • Sahar Abdulaziz

MY VIRTUAL HEART ATTACK


This past weekend my computer pretended to die. Nearly gave me a heart attack. Thankfully I had most of what I had been working on somewhat, in a way backed up, but still, the thought of being without my handy-dandy trusty keyboard sent shivers down my aging spine.

What to do? What to do?

Quickly I grabbed the dying patient and rushed upstairs to interrupt my husband who was relaxing. Getting a quiet minute to himself. Finally getting a chance to enjoy watching some football game, but when I barged in, he could tell by the look on my face, that a meltdown was only mere seconds from erupting.

“What happened?” He asked, knowing already that if I am seen running upstairs pale, panting, holding my laptop in a death grip, and looking like the Crypt Keeper -then in all likelihood, it probably meant for him the promise of many hours of work.

“I don’t know. She just stopped,” I was screeching.

“What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“What did you press?”

I didn’t press anything.”

He smirked, not quite believing that, but okay…

“I was typing, doing revisions; you know how much I love doing those, -Anyway, all of a sudden the screen went dark, and then everything was gone. And I mean EVERYTHING. Everything I’ve been working on for the last twelve hours disappeared into thin air. POOF. Just like that. I think I’m going to throw up.”

“Hand it to me.”

I dutifully handed over my baby to the IT doctor.

“I’ll need the power cord,” he said.

As quick as lightening I ran to snatch it and was back in a hot flash.

By the time I appeared with the power cord, Hubby had already started doing computer IT stuff. Pushing buttons and doing more computer brainy stuff…I had no clue. All I remembered was standing there, towering over him like a zombie, unable to move. My mind was racing and trying to figure out exactly everything that I might have lost, and how I was going to get it back- if I could even get it back!

“Can I have a cup of tea?” he calmly asked me, probably to get me to stop breathing down his neck more than anything else.

“Sure.” And off I went again. Heart in throat, playing over in my mind everything I did for the past few days that I would have to do all over again if my computer was in fact, terminally ill. I felt sick to my stomach.

I started popping Fritos by the handful, swallowing it down with hot tea that burnt the back of my throat, but I didn’t care. I was freaking out. All the manuscripts, re-writes, and interviews I forgot to copy…. I was so unequivocally screwed.

Tea made, I headed back upstairs down the hall to my husband’s office. As I gently placed the hot brew on his desk, I stole a quick peek over his shoulder towards the screen, and much to my surprise and awe, she was at least no longer in the dark. There was life. I almost jumped for joy.

“Is she fixed?” I asked, probably sounding rather shrewish.

“I don’t even know what’s wrong with it yet,” he informed me using that irritating IT trained computer voice saved for hysterical clients. “Are you sure you didn’t press anything by mistake?”

“Positive…. Well, umm, almost positive… Wait,-No, I’m sure. I didn’t touch or push a thing… except the keys, but that’s okay to push, right? I mean, they’re keys- they’re supposed to get pushed.”

“Thanks for the tea.”

“Oh. Okay… well, I’ll be downstairs then...Out of your hair...Waiting until you fix her all up. Just call me when you’re done and all…”

“Out,” he said, nodding his chin indicating I should use the door, doing his best to ignore me... poor guy.

I know I was making him nuts, I didn't mean to, but I couldn’t seem to stop myself. My computer and I have been through thick and thin. We've written five books together… countless blogs, letters, all my family photos…. surfed the worldwide web, which in my world counts as taking virtual vacations. I wanted to cry.

An hour went by. I snuck back upstairs to his office to take another peek. He was still fiddling, but heard me.

Darn it- busted.

“I just wanted to know if you need anything?” I asked him sweetly. We both knew I’was full of it.

“No. I’m fine,” he said. “Wait, when will dinner be ready? I’m starving.”

Dinner! Did he just say dinner? My baby is practically dead! How can he even think of eating at a time like this? I wanted to scream.

“In about an hour,” I answered. I was lying. I had totally forgotten all about dinner. Crap… I was batting a hundred.

Then I turned to leave when all of a sudden he asked what I had been dreading to hear. The line all IT computer technicians save in their evil bag of tricks to make you feel guilty for your machine imploding… The catch phrase of all catch phrases that make us Users look like the idiots- the villains. Here it comes. I brace myself.

“When was the last time you backed up your computer?” He asked.

Rut Ro. Part of me wants to lie and tell him this morning. The other adult part of me knew I needed to come clean and speak the truth. “Last week?”

“You don't sound too sure. Last week as in you backed it up or last week is what you think I want to hear and you’re BSing me?”

He looked at me, waited for answer. Studied my facial micro-expressions and concluded that I didn't know what I was talking about. Then he knowingly shook his head in disappointment, not waiting to hear my song and dance.

“I hope you’re prepared to lose your work if I have to rebuild it,” He stoically informed me.

Personally, I honestly believe he enjoyed saying that way too much.

My knees felt weak. Tears welled up in my eyes and began streaming down my cheeks. “No.” Then I pathetically managed to peep out. “I…I…I” At this point I was close to hyperventilating.

“Well, I hope it doesn’t come to that.

“Let me try one more thing,” he says. “Hold on.”

My Knight in Shining Armor has arrived!

Yes, yes, try one more thing, ---anything else. Just save my baby!

Hubby continued to concentrate and then began pressing more stuff, went on his computer, read other stuff, and then went back to my computer to do more stuff.

Come on…come on… you can do it. I know you can do it. I think I broke a sweat, and maybe burned off some extra calories. I don't know...

Honestly, standing there, watching and waiting felt akin to the last thirty seconds in a Computer Super Bowl. The score was tied. Kicker for my team was ready to make that final field goal to break the tie -AND

Wa-La. He did it! My computer was back and she was purring! I couldn't believe my eyes. I was elated, but also deathly scared to ask if she was really back from the brink of oblivion.

With globs of trepidation choking me, I managed a calm, “Did that work? What you just did?" I asked him in my creepy singsong voice. "That button pushing thing…you…just did?”

Why oh why do I always have to sound like such a dingbat when it comes to computers?

This time, my hubby didn't even bother looking up at me. He’s been married to me for almost three decades and knows better than to laugh or smirk especially when I’m in the middle of a meltdown. Instead he took the high road, smart man that he is.

“Looks like it,” he answered, still using that damn flat, beyond calm IT voice, but I didn't care. My baby was back.

But then he said, “I want you to back up your stuff.”

“When?”

Okay... ----NOW he was looking at me like he was talking to a nitwit!

“Today!”

“Okay.”

“This minute.”

“Okay.”

“Right now.”

“You got it. Roger that, Captain My Captain.”

I mockingly saluted him, and then gingerly leaned over his shoulder to grab my baby up, and headed directly to my office, -practically hugging her to death.

“You scared me today, you awful thing you.” I told her in baby-speak. “Don’t do that again!”

“Would you stop talking to your computer,” he shouted from down the hall. “You really freak me out when you do that.”

“Okay!” I yelled back giddy, so happy at that point that I would have agreed to practically anything…within reason.

Closing my door so nobody could overhear me, I put my cheek on her cover and whispered, “Don’t mind him, he just doesn’t understand…Mommy wuvs you.”


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