Broken computers, Botox, and a letter from my son.


The last few weeks have been exciting for me! Of course, individual events are not newsworthy, but a combination of them together makes for good writing. Let me explain:

Recently my work computer had decided that it was done being overworked, under-appreciated, and generally not a respected piece of vital equipment. It started its protest by turning off every time I hit the Backspace button. A very inconvenient state of affairs if you knew my lack of spelling achievements. I wrote a very nice email to my IT department and asked that my computer be scheduled for a doctor’s appointment with all the fixings. A proper reboot to reenergize and recenter it. After two weeks of back and forth of trying to explain its symptoms, the IT department asked if I would be so kind as to videotape the computer while it was having a mental breakdown?

Are you asking me to record my computer while working on it?

Weird! But after 15 failed attempts to hold my cell phone while working, I was finally able to capture the problem. But, of course, anyone who has had to send video attachments through a work email knows the issues trying to send that large of a file. So after three days of clipping, editing, and creating a title page and end credits for my amusement, I finally was able to send the video.

Response? Oh, yea- that computer is broken.

Four weeks! Four weeks of trying to get them to understand that I can not work on a computer that shuts down whenever there is a loud noise, movement, or a cup of coffee nearby! I am now only four weeks behind in admin work, but the IT department got a pretty cool video of an employee struggling to do their job.

In conclusion, they sent me another outdated computer with fewer issues because my area of operations cycle for working and able computers is not until 2023. Because I had to schedule an appointment for them to remote access it, I am still currently without a work computer. Maybe today? I am not sure how they will remote access it because the computer’s one issue was that IT DOESNT TURN ON!

But then again, more significant miracles have happened.

Two weeks ago, in a fit of desperation and depression, I scheduled myself a Botox appointment. Yes, I jumped on the bandwagon of injecting chemicals into my body to look and feel younger. Don’t judge me! I had a frown line on my forehead that could sallow a compact car. My co-workers would tell you that it is from the stress of virtual meetings. My family would say it is because I don’t know how to relax. My friends would mention that it would be because I am getting old. Regardless, I don’t care why it was there, but it needed to go away. I was scaring young children and animals with my constant ‘mean’ look.

While I was there- I decided that I would erase the bags under my eyes that have been my constant friend since my 21-year-old son was two days old.

I walked in for my appointment, sure in my need for a quick touch-up. An in-and-out kind of appointment. 20 minutes tops!

An hour and a half later- I had ten needle holes in my face, a funny sensation of not being able to close my eyes, follow-up appointments for the next year of injections, and a referral to see the weight management team who ‘could do something about my double chin.’

There went those new windows that I wanted!

And finally, I had a humbling experience. A moment where I truly felt that I had done my mother wrong, and I needed to apologize for my behavior 22 years ago.

My oldest called me not too long ago and told me that he had joined the Marines. A proud moment, and a confused one too. Why the Marines? I had asked him that question, and the only answer I got was ‘Because it is the Marines.’ Well, that explains it!

He shipped off to Boot Camp not too long ago. Twenty-three days and 7 hours ago, to be exact. But who is counting?

Before leaving for Boot Camp- we did not talk every day, but once a week, we had an energized 7-minute conversation where we quickly overviewed the last week and spoke about the political climate. Of course, we are on two different sides of the peach tree, but we were able to navigate the conversations with laughter and no hard feelings. I miss those conversations.

A couple of days ago, I got an email from USPS showing that I had a letter arriving from my son. I saw that picture with his rushed handwriting, and I called everyone under the sun who would answer to share the news that my son had written me a letter.

No one answered the phone.

So I paced, stood by the window, and drank 15 cups of coffee while standing on my deck at -8 degrees, waiting on the mailperson to arrive. Finally, when the coffee had settled, and I could not wait any longer to pee- the mailperson arrived. I was in the bathroom when my youngest collected the mail, set it on the kitchen counter haphazardly and went about his day.

The problem is that he didn’t tell me that he had gotten the mail. So I had posted myself back outside in full winter gear and was waiting on the mailperson who was already on her way back home.

5:30 pm rolled around, and I had to go in to defrost and make dinner, disappointed that I would not get my son’s letter. I walked into the kitchen, and there it was! Christmas in a 5×7 envolpe!

That ten-sentence letter is currently posted on my fridge. I read it every morning.

The next day I had to call my mother to apologize, remembering all the times I could have called her when I was in the military- but was always more concerned with food, sleep, or surviving.

I now know that feeling in your stomach when you cannot reach one of your children at a drop of a needle. You wonder about them, worry for them, and are proud of them, but you miss them. But that one single letter! A mere ten sentences. It was the best present that my son had ever given me. It meant that I was worth a few moments of his precious time.

Shit, now I am crying, well, not really crying because I think the botox cut off the water supply to my eyes.

As you can see, friends, singular moments of the last two weeks were not much to talk about. BUT, the combination of them all made for an exciting time!

I have to go now. I have to prepare for the IT department to remote access my inoperable computer. Looking back now, maybe this is why I froze my face? So that people at my work don’t know what I am really thinking?

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