Hard Drive Heart Break

This is an actual picture of Lee at the time of the demise.

          Thursday is here and we breathe a sigh of relief. We made it! This business of starting over is tough work and we have struggled with it all week. Maybe struggled is too harsh a word. Let’s just say we worked hard to come up with a fresh perspective on a tough subject. Whatever we say, there will be some readers who sit there with a metaphorical middle digit pointed at the screen the whole time and muttering ‘what the fuck do you know’. We are aware that we cannot appreciate the concept viscerally but we can empathize with those faced with starting over. No, seriously, we do get it.

          Lee says: In January, my computer crashed. She was getting on in age and I have to admit that I worked her to the bone. Sometimes I knew I wasn’t taking care of her, as I should. She stood by me through hundreds of hours of research, dozens of grants and reports, 2 and a ½ novels, one year worth of blog posts and countless drivel writing and social media updating. And I just kept working her. She crashed and I forced her to recover too quickly. Last week, she finally gave up and, from one moment to the next, she was gone. Fried. Dead.

          So now, I must begin again. However, before I jump into a new, long term relationship, I must take responsibility for my part in her death. My first realization was that I never named her. Yes, I broke our first relationship rule, ‘acknowledge your relationship’. Not only did I not appreciate her, I never bothered to name her! I name all my other partners. Right now, I am typing on Baby, our little 8” laptop that we take everywhere. I love Baby and sing her praises everywhere. Did I do that with my real computer? The one I did everything with and only considered things complete when she was involved? No.

          I also take responsibility for talking badly about her everywhere I would go. One ‘Don’t’ rule I broke regarding relationships. Instead of praising her for her tireless support, I talked smack about how slow she was and how she made my life impossible. My own impatience was more important than how she must have felt about my constant berating. Oh yeah, I admit to nagging her constantly. Tapping my foot while she tried to boot up or she took so long to catch up to my rapid fire style. I would boast of how I was too fast for her and she was old. I was so mean to her!

          I will also admit that my boundaries were less than perfect with her. O.K., I was horrible with her. Aside from a barrage of obscenities she had to endure, occasionally I had her look at certain web sites that would make a whore blush. Occasionally I would force her to multi-task so much she would freeze up under the pressure. Instead of caring for her and showing her compassion, I would yell at her and instead of taking the soft approach, I would hard boot the bitch and tell her to get back to work. I was mean and abusive.

          As I begin the search for a new companion, I must admit all these things and take responsibility for the demise of that relationship. The mistakes I made, if I continue on this path, will only create more frustration and heartache. I choose now to commit myself to a healthy relationship with my new partner. I will acknowledge them and tell the world of our love and respect for one another. I will give her a proper name. No, I will never use harsh words against her. I will not get into the habit of using a boot to get my way. I will be understanding and kind. I will encourage down time, provide her with healthy sustenance, and vaccinate her with appropriate viral protection. I will see us as equals and acknowledge my accomplishments as ours.

          So you see, I know exactly what you are going through. No one’s pain is worse than another. This is not a game of Bridge where everyone needs to trump the other. My pain is just as real as yours, if not more important since it is mine. I may not be emotionally ready for a new computer but at least I know what I need to work on. I am a work in progress and my work needs a computer. I promise to admit when I am over my head and time myself out when I am about to lose it. My best is all I can do.

          Paul says: In lieu of flowers, please send jump-drives to ‘Lee’s Dead Computer’ care of CoupleDumb.


  • Acceptance is the key to forgiving and resolution. Letting go is never easy. Time is the only possible arm to fight grief. Thanks for some useful inspiration. Good luck.

  • I wanted you to know that, thanks to your advice, I just gave my computer a massage. And a name.

    Well, actually it was more like a caress (it was our first time, so I’m baby-stepping it), but Henry loved it.

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