Dear Mac: a computer love letter

Dear Mac,

We’ve been together for nearly four and a half years now. I didn’t want to meet you at first, thought this relationship would never work. I’d seen you from a distance and heard people talk about you, but I was perfectly happy in my relationship with PC, a distant cousin of yours.

PC and I, we never really had any major problems. Granted, I was willing to cut him a lot of slack, because I’d never been in a relationship like that before. The first time I lived with a computer was in Grade 9.

I heard of friends who had problems in their PC relationship – files were lost, memories erased, or the blue screen of death (also known as the silent treatment). But we never thought about giving up our relationship with the PC we loved, and who gave us everything we needed (usually).

And then I went to university and met you. At first, it was a casual acquaintance. PC and I were slowly being forced apart, but I was still very attached to him, and given the opportunity, would choose him over you. But slowly, that changed. I found your interface much more attractive, and it seemed much more intuitive to figure you out.

Soon, it became difficult to interact with PC. Sometimes, it was a challenge to even turn him on. So the relationship with you intensified. We started spending all hours together. In the second year of our relationship, we moved in together, and our time together often extended long into the night, telling stories about Calgarians or preparing an essay together.

Awkwardly enough, PC was still living under the same roof, but we made it work somehow.

You’ve always been there when I needed you. You’ve never corrupted files out of spite, and if you gave me the spinny wheel of death (the silent treatment), it was never for very long. In some instances, I know I’ve taken advantage of you, yet you never crashed.

Printers haven’t always liked our relationship, but the Adobe Creative Suite seems to approve of my relationship with you more than it ever did with PC. (Except that one time in second year. We don’t talk about it much, but making me wait four hours to load a Dreamweaver file was not cool.)

So what gives now? You’ve been very temperamental over the past few weeks. I saw the signs – you were slow waking up in the mornings, and gave me the silent treatment more than once. I took heed and tried to get you the attention you needed, but apparently it was too late. Now that you’ve recovered slightly, you’re still acting out.

I can’t be the one in this relationship who handles all the files. I need you to do your part – move the proper elements in InDesign when I ask you to, and not to walk out on me when we’re working on an important file.

I love you, I really do. Even last summer, when I could only spend evenings and weekends with you, and had to spend my days working with and being personable to PC, you know that wasn’t my first choice. For those who don’t approve of our relationship, who thought I was better off with PC, an illustrator acquaintance pointed out that the design work you do with Adobe CS surely requires just as much computing power that a PC does with games.

So let’s work this out, OK? Especially, I don’t know what’s going on between you and the mouse, but you guys need to figure things out and communicate better.


Note: It’s not just my computer I have this “relationship” with – my car’s name is Minnie, (short for Minnie Mouse because she’s silver and her side mirrors look like ears) but when I hit a pothole or am trying to coax her to shift gears a little quicker, I usually call her babe. My laptop’s name is Peggy Sue, and my GPS used to be Gertrude, until my friend switched the navigator voice. So if anyone has a good name for a GPS with a male Australian voice, I’m taking suggestions.
I think the habit might have started at Jubes – the office has a really temperamental photocopier/printer that was named Stewart. Actually, all items in the office were named, but only Stewart and the name for the paper slicer stuck (kind of). So if you hear Jubes office staff swearing at “Stewart,” the printer probably ate a piece of paper again or something.
The habit got to be that I even would encourage the printer in the editors’ room in the Comm Centre (and got made fun of for it) even though I never named that printer.
My work computer’s name isn’t really Mac – I don’t actually have a name for him, though Mac might work, short for Mackenzie. Or I’d take other suggestions… originally, he was a silver 21.5″ iMac, but lost his tan (i.e. we switched my computer out when that one crashed a few weeks ago) and is now a white 21.5 iMac.

I need to get out more.


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