Hey World, Here I Am!

I love the first page of a new notebook.
I write the date crisply.
My whole name marches exactly along a line
The spaces are always even.
The commas curl just so.
I never have to erase on the first page.

~From Hey World, Here I Am! by Jean Little


Today, I got a new laptop–which is kind of like the grown-up equivalent of a new notebook. I haven’t had a new laptop in about six or seven years. I had become attached to my old laptop–a dear old friend that I spent hours and hours with every day. Some of the best of times and worst of times in the past half-decade of my life have been on that laptop–countless letters, emails, lesson plans, minlesson after minilesson after minilesson, my never-to-be-finished doctoral dissertation, a book, a blog, birth announcements and party plans and thank you cards (I don’t need to say which were the best of times, which were the worst).

As much as I hated to admit it, my old laptop had gotten to the point where doing anything was a terrible chore involving the rainbow-wheel-of death, the frowny-face Mac telling me “Oh snap!” Hours of wasted time.The final blow came when I discovered that even the most basic functions were gone, and that files that appeared to be saved, were in fact not saved,  but vanished, gone forever.

So today I walked into the store, marched right up to the chick behind the counter, a twenty-something with an uncanny resemblance to Zooey Deschanel. Maybe it was because of that resemblance that I practically cheered, “I am buying a new laptop today!” I also said, “Hooray!” She smiled, sort of, but she didn’t really share my enthusiasm. Not the way the real Zooey D. would have, anyway.

One thing I realized today is that I do not know very much about computers. And because I don’t know much, it wasn’t as much fun as I had imagined it was going to be to decide on a new one. With every question the sales gal asked me, I basically had to say, “Er… I don’t know much, but I think I need…” which she answered every time, “Actually you probably don’t need…”

At one point I heard myself saying, “Well, my husband says I need…” and I felt my face flush with embarrassment. Seriously?! I thought to myself, My husband says?! Who am I? The sale person, who seemed like a very cool, independent woman raised an eyebrow at me and I felt like I was letting all of womankind down. Dammit. I need to know more about computers. Then, while she went to the store-room to get my new computer, I called my husband to double-check that I’d chosen the right one.

A few hours later, I was home with my new laptop. My new notebook. Now, just like Kate, in About Notebooks, I’m inspired to start fresh with my own writing. So today I created a new blog, with a new title, and layout and everything. Like Jean Little says:

I forget I’m sick of the book with its stupid margins
And, while I’m writing, I hum inside my head.


7 thoughts on “Hey World, Here I Am!

  1. Long time, no see stranger. (Like I don’t email with you a bazillion times each week.) Glad you’re back, and I love this Slice! I was laughing the whole way through, especially at your little cheer for yourself as you first spoke to the “chick.” You may not be cool, but you’ve got a new laptop and a new site, which is pretty cool in my book. Congrats.


  2. I used to be the “tech” person at my school and your slice made me laugh out loud. Yes, some people don’t know all the computer-eeze but I much rather work with those people than those who actually think they know it all and end up messing up everything because “they knew what they were doing.” I’m glad you got your computer and wish you many happy days pecking away at that keyboard.


  3. I love this post! I love the part about “my husband says”–I so relate to the overwhelming experience of computer sales people pummeling you with questions. I never know the answers! I don’t know what I need!!! Isn’t that what they are supposed to figure out?!?! Also, love the Jean Little references–hey world, welcome back!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, that’s how I felt when my beloved white Macbook “oh, Snap!”ped me once too often last month. I was embarrassed about my lack of know how, too, but it’s all forgotten now and my shiny new MacBook makes me very happy indeed. Enjoy, Beth! And, welcome back to the slicing world!

    Liked by 1 person

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