Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It Wasn't My Fault.

I have a tendency to break stuff.

It isn't my fault. Things just stop working when I'm using them. In the past year, two cell phones and two digital cameras have just mysteriously died while in my hands. I didn't drop them, or slam them against anything, or drop crumbs on them, or even swing them too enthusiastically.

They just...died.

It wasn't my fault. It's never my fault.

Except for that one time when it was.


In the early days of living together, JP and I shared his desktop computer. I was working on my resume one day while he was at work. My mouse-clicking hand was busy, but I figured that I could just slide the sheet of paper out from behind my glass of water.




I gasped and snatched up the glass,




I stood there helplessly, holding the dripping keyboard in my hands. The water trickled to the floor, pooling at my feet.

My first thought?

Oh crap.

My second thought?


Did I break it? No, I'm sure it isn't broken. I can fix it. I can fix it.


I blew on it.


I fanned it.


I took out the big guns.
Please note: that's a hairdryer, not a drill.

When it was finally dry, I brought the keyboard back to the computer table. I held my breath as I plugged it in.






I turned it off. I turned it back on again. I turned it off. I unplugged it. I plugged it back in. I turned it back on again.

Yet, despite my ninja computer repair skills, nothing.

It didn't work.

I spent the next few minutes worrying. I worried that I had been careless. I worried that I had broken something that we both needed. I worried that I always rolled my eyes at JP when he told me that I probably shouldn't eat or drink while using the computer. I worried that he was right.

Did I mention that it was still early days of living together?

And so, I made the mature, rational decision: avoid responsibility at all costs. Just pretend that it had spontaneously stopped working.

Great plan, right?

When JP walked in the door a few minutes later, I was there, hovering over him, giant smile plastered on my face.




him (eyeing me suspiciously): Ummmm...fine. How are you?

me: Oh great! Just great! Except that...ummmm...something weird happened today.


him: What?

me: Well, I was using the computer this afternoon. And then - all of a sudden - the keyboard just stopped working. I have no idea why...


JP went over to the computer. He fiddled with it. He unplugged the keyboard and plugged it back in again. He pressed a few buttons.




him: Are you sure that...

me: What? I didn't do anything. It just broke. God.

him: ...

me: Anyway, don't worry about it. We can get a new one. I saw some for under ten bucks at Big Box Store. They're much more futuristic. And aerodynamic. Honestly, that old keyboard was kind of lame and clunky. The new one will be much more us.

That night, we drove to Big Box Store and walked out hand-in-hand, a new keyboard tucked under JP's arm.


I breathed a sigh of relief. That had been close.

Except that I couldn't fall asleep that night. I tossed and turned, my stomach churning. The guilt and the lies weighed heavily upon me.












And that, friends, is what true love is all about.

The acceptance and forgiveness bit.

Not the dodging responsibility bit.

Just to clarify.

57 comments:

  1. BAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA

    I was going to start rewriting but when I saw a new post from you I had to click over - you always bring a smile to my face. And yeah, my bf wasn't too pissed when his iPhone mysteriously sailed off a book I MAY have placed it on and the lid shattered. Totally not my fault I didn't do it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course you didn't do it. I read a book as a teenager where all of the "stuff" in the world was inhabited by manitou. It was a pretty crappy book...but that would explain the way that electronics spontaneously commit suicide.

      Delete
  2. Aww, what a beautiful ending.

    I must say, I always look forward to your posts, in fact I stayed up until 4am the other night and read every single post...the fact that I haven't slept since then and I'm starting to err on the side of hysteria as well as hallucinations, was well worth it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lily! Your kind words make me feel all warm and fuzzy. The ending to this one might look good on the screen...but I don't want to show JP the post. There's no need to remind him of the things I tend to do, you know? Ha!

      Delete
  3. ah, that is a cute story! and with a heart-warming life lesson, to boot!
    i dripped water on my keyboard so badly that it went completely haywire. i had to take it in to the computer shop and a new keyboard had to be ordered - oops! please note that i did not learn my lesson and i still eat and drink at my computer. just more carefully.
    love the plasticine computer and the keyboard, stephanie! i wish i had your crafty skills!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I totally eat and drink at my computer. It's just that it's my own computer now, so if I wreck it I don't have to feel guilty...just mad. Ha!

      Delete
  4. oh this rocks. go get your "add on" MOV award.

    xxo
    MOV

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks! Your post made me feel all mushy. I'm glad you found me...because now I've found you. And you're seriously funny!

      Delete
  5. Hehehe, Brilliant! I can really relate to this.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I break everything in our house. Well, I break things accidentally. My husband breaks things on purpose when he gets mad. I like to keep a couple semi-functioning pieces of electronics hanging around so he has something to throw on concrete. But, I am the official breaker of stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you keep a decorative basket filled with obsolete electronics for your husband? I don't break stuff, for the most part. Stuff just happens to break while I'm using it. There's a distinct difference.

      Delete
  7. The crazy thing? The really crazy thing? Not only did THIS EXACT THING happen at my house, but we totally look like that. Really.

    Congrats on the MOV award! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, someday we're going to have to exchange photos. Because it would be hilarious if we actually did look exactly alike.

      Delete
  8. I poured half a can of ginger ale in the holes in the back of my computer once while I was trying to fix the wifi. It was 10 years ago. My husband still lectures me that "electronics don't get thirsty" if I place a liquid within 4 feet of a computer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! If JP ever said that to me, I'd probably get annoyed and say "I KNOW", gesturing wildly...and knocking the drink onto the keyboard again. But the important question is...did the ginger ale fix the wifi?

      Delete
    2. No, not it didn't. It just murdered the hell out of it. I had just finished paying it off too!

      Delete
  9. Good lesson to learn :-)
    I spilled water on my laptop keyboard once, and my boss/friend at the time told me I should just contact the company and say it happened spontaneously so they'd send me a new one. I wasn't really into the idea of being dishonest, but I did it, and they sent me one --- and I feel terrible whenever I think about it.
    I just remember my dad saying, "Yeah, but, you spilled water on it--why should they send you one for free?"
    p.s. I was like 19, and I will never do anything like that again to anyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you aren't the first who's done that, and you certainly won't be the last! I don't think you should feel terrible anymore...the good stuff that you've put out into the world since has more than made up for it. I'm a pretty bad liar, so it's kind of obvious when I'm trying to cover up something that I've done.

      Delete
  10. This is so cute. I hate that feeling of trying to not tell someone (Ralph) that something is broken. Many times it's not my fault...no really...it's not!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe you. Absolutely. Just because things break while you're using them doesn't mean that you broke them. Right? Thanks for posting the baboon photo. Even if it IS a mandrill and my blog is nothing but a lie.

      Delete
  11. The lesson of this story should be: Use a sippy cup. Seriously. I am pretty sure every device in my life would have exploded if I didn't use a cup with a lid that closes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sippy cups! Why didn't I think of that?!? What's the sippy cup equivalent for when you're eating spaghetti?

      Delete
  12. #1: JP's hair is AWESOME.
    #2: I love the shrug with "Computers are such a mystery."
    #3: I dropped my cell phone in a glass of water once. I was reaching over to set it on the tray beside me and it just...slipped right through my fingers into the glass of water. I was stunned. And my hubby managed to save it. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Thanks! I had a hard time with his hair...I almost gave up and wrote another story because it looked like he had multiple horns all over his head. Your hubby...saver of lives AND electronics!

      Delete
  13. LOL that was awesome. It sounds like you have your own superpower. Sucking all the juice out of electronics, could come in handy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also have problems with static electricity. I told JP that I thought it might be because I'm really smart and there's a lot of electrical currents moving through my brain and body. But it sounded better in my head than it did when I said it out loud.

      Delete
  14. great story :-) you'd make a great software (or hardware) tester ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh...not a bad idea. Like crash-test dummies, except with computers.

      Delete
  15. Great story! Great storytelling! Amazing post as usual. And a wonderful ending. Thanks for the laugh and the "sigh" at the great ending.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad it ended the way it did.

      Delete
  16. Absolutely loved this post- it should be turned into some sort of little 'love' poster,or greeting card! Those are the times I love my husband the most, when he 'just knows I ruined something' but gives me a smile instead. When he 'just knows I ruined something' and gives me a lecture?? Yeah, not so much love there. Good post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Oh, do I hear you. We like to joke that my ADHD cancels out his OCD.

      Delete
  17. Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure that's not what he was thinking. Ha!

      Delete
  18. :) You need to get this published somewhere big for Valentine's Day. I wonder if BlogHer could syndicate it? How do I get that to happen for you? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure! I actually submitted my story about the uncooperative uterus to blogher before Christmas, but I never heard back from them.

      Delete
  19. I love a good romance! Your talent really is amazing. I love those clay people, clumsiness and all. Plus I relate: cell phones run in fear when they see me coming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sandra! Your cell phones show more survival instinct than mine. Mine just give up and die.

      Delete
  20. I love your posts! All the cell phone comments are making me envision clay people acting out the scene where I dropped my phone into the toilet at a museum, fished it out, showed it to my husband, who started helpfully wiping it on his shirt and pants. I never confessed that I had PEED in that toilet before I dropped it in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, you win the prize for leaving a comment that made me laugh out loud. Seriously. I wish this had happened to me so that I could tell the story. Ha!

      Delete
  21. Your posts always make me laugh!! You are so talented and always have such a funny spin and perspective on things. Thanks for keeping us all smiling!

    ReplyDelete
  22. So cute and funny! I love that you felt like you needed to hide it from him... I'm married to an IT guy, so the keyboards are plentiful... Although, he did spill beer all over the one attached to my laptop. That was not quite as fixable.

    What a cute little love story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm halfway happy when JP does something like that, because I feel like it starts to make up for all of my accidents. Ha! Yes, IT guys generally have computer graveyard in their houses, don't they?

      Delete
  23. How did I miss this?! Hehe, as soon as I read the first paragraph I knew what this story was going to be about :). I loved it illustrated (clayed?) Very cute. And excellent figurines, once again! Especially with the water falling onto the computer!

    When Andrew and I first started dating, I was pulling my car into his driveway and I was trying to maneuver around a garbage can and I ended up hitting the back of his car. It left a pretty big mark, but I didn't want to tell him it was me! If he found it on his own, I thought he would assume someone else hit him, so I wasn't going to say anything.

    But when he hadn't noticed by the next day I started to feel really guilty about it, so I ended up pointing it out to him myself...and he did assume someone else must have hit him. But then I felt really guilty about that, and I ended up confessing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This story was definitely inspired by commenting on your blog! Oh my gosh, I cringed and squirmed while reading your car story. That's awful. I hit my JP's car once, but there was NO WAY he wouldn't have known it was me, so I didn't even try to hide it. But we were already married at the time, so at least it didn't happen when we first started dating!

      Delete
  24. Love, love, love this. I ruin things too and so I know that rice may have fixed your keyboard. I guess it's annoying to hear that now and I'm all for honesty but next time water spills on a phone or if it falls in toilet submerge in white rice. The starch pulls the water out. If it's a sweet beverage (even milk in your coffee) you're screwed b/c the sugar harms the motherboard. I've learned all of this the hard way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? This is why I blog. To learn new stuff. Thanks for the tip!

      Delete
  25. That computer was awesome! Have you done a "making of" blog?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope! :) Honestly...a "making of" would look something like this: smoosh clay. Flatten it. Smoosh it again. Stop when it kind of looks like a computer. Ha!

      Delete
  26. I really like this blog! It is so original, glad I stopped by:0
    Tracie
    crackyouwhip.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tracie! I'm glad that you commented so that I could find your blog...I'm always on the lookout for illustrated blogs.

      Delete
  27. Stephanie,

    Awesome post. This read like a scene out of my life. My lovely wife (for all of her talented writing), has a disastrous relationship with computers--especially the one that I built for her, that makes her guilt even worse when it breaks all by itself!!!
    BTW, I loved the clay images. Where did you find such a small table?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words! A writer with a disastrous relationship with computers - the sweet irony. Except that it's not really so sweet.

      I found the table at the dollar store, in the toy section. For some reason, it's the only piece of doll furniture that they sold. So I use it - again and again and again. Someday I'd LOVE to find a chair or a couch, so that I don't have to keep using blocks.

      Delete