Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hard Times

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to experience what it was like to live in the olden days, back when times were hard. No, I didn’t visit Jamestown, Virginia or Ellis Island. I didn’t even spend an afternoon at the Atlanta History Center.

In truth, my trip into the past began when something truly terrible happened. My cable went out.

First I re-booted my computer, and then I checked my TV. Nothing viable on either one. My computer kept telling me it couldn't access any of my addresses and my television just offered a screen version of a raspberry. I could feel myself getting agitated and my ends were coming loose. I couldn’t call Comcast because, to call Comcast, I either have to find the number online or wait for a commercial on TV and then look at the fine print. In addition, I couldn't even check to see if I'd paid my cable bill.

OH NO! What to do? What to do? After sitting around for a few minutes, looking at my fingernails and trying to decide whether to vacuum or not, I decided, instead, to call my friend Susan who lives downstairs. Thank goodness my cell phone still worked. Perhaps this wasn’t Armageddon after all.

Susan answered after just a couple of rings. “Hello.”

“Hey Susan, is your cable working?”

“I’ve already called,” she answered. I wasn't surprised as Susan is much more organized and proactive than I am. “They said cable is out all over Midtown, and it may be late afternoon before it’s back up. Isn't that just great? What am I supposed to do? I was all ready to turn on The Food Network and take a nap.”

At least Susan could still take a nap with no cable, which I pointed out to her. “Well, at least you can still take a nap.”

“No I can’t," she asserted. "I can’t take a nap without The Food Network or HGTV on in the background. This has completely ruined my Saturday.” Then remembering what an internet addict I am, she thought of my pain and asked, “So what are you going to do?”

“I don't know. I guess I’ll go to the library. Isn’t that what people used to do before cable?”

“I guess. Do you know where it is?”

“Not really. I’ll just have to drive around Atlanta until I find it since I can’t do a MapQuest.”

I would like to say that my visit to the library was great, and, because of it, I recalled the simple pleasures of life after finding a book on organic windowsill farming. But it turns out that the damned elevator wasn’t working and I would have actually had to climb stairs to get to the stacks, so I decided to head back home.

As I got into my car, I wondered if maybe my cable was back on, or if, at the very least, the drive-through call thingy was working at Wendy's. It would've been just too much to ask of myself to have to go inside to place my order.

It was really a very hard day, but the good news is that I have new respect for the pioneers.


Wisewebwoman said...

OMG Marcia, what a nightmare! I feel your pain!
I try and disconnect myself once a week from all such fripperies (I don't have TV so it's just internet for me) and find it very difficult.
Ou grandparents could never have envisioned such dependence on an artificial reality, could they?

Anonymous said...

When electronic "stuff" doesn't work, I feel completely disoriented. And then it seems as if everything goes wrong - the world is against me. Enduring it is certainly "hard times" as you so aptly point out. Mary B

marciamayo said...

For this post, I wanted to write something light and fluffy after my last serious post. My daughter, Molly, took some offense at my title and the photo. I don't want anyone to think I'm making light of truly hard times, especially during these hard times. I was just trying to be funny.
It does, however, discombobulate me when my cable it out. I know, I'm a sissy.

Jean said...

I hate it when our cable goes out. And I really, really hate it when my internet connection is lost. And these two things often happen simultaneously. We need a back-up plan, definitely, but what could it be? Housework? No way.

Olga said...

Oh, my, poor, poor you. I do so hope that things have taken a turn for the better now. There is only so much deprivation one can be expected to withstand. I recall the look of absolute horror when I told my grand children I had only black and white TV to watch as a kid. They just don't understand how good they have it.

Arkansas Patti said...

So sorry the library idea didn't work out. Since I got my Kindle, I no longer go and really miss it.
I can take TV going out but don't mess with my computer service. Then I get cranky.
Hope you are back in civilizaion again.

Celia said...

My grandgirl takes her laptop to the library. I asked her if she did her homework,no, she was playing games. Had an unwired weekend while I was in Portland and did fine. Who knew? The cable going out makes me grind my teeth though.

marciamayo said...

I actually lied about the library part. The elevator was out but I don't use elevators unless I have no choice since I'm claustrophobic. Patti, you really like your Kindle? I'm afraid I'd miss the feeling of the pages. I had a friend who let me hold hers and I have to say it felt pretty good.

Brig said...

OMG, you have got to be kidding. What a time you had. I don't have or want TV, just internet. But, let that go down and the old crone gets more than a touch cranky.
My daughter has been getting me a Kindle for let's see, Christmas last year, then the birthday this year, now we're coming up on Thanksgiving... in the land of the ever hopefull...

Friko said...

I don't believe a word of it.
Sure, i believe that you lost access, but that you lost yourself at the same time, that I will not believe. It can't be true, it mustn't be true.

You should live where I live. There are times when we lose electricity altogether and sit in the dark, with a portable gas lamp, fridges and freezers off, no heating, no cooking, just candles, blankets and open fires.

We don't even have a gas connection.

The joys of living in the depth of the countryside in winter. Come and join us.

marciamayo said...

Friko, I'm on my way. Can you pick my up at Heathrow?

millie garfield said...

I just found you through Ronni's blog and I must tell you I have become an immediate fan!!

Vagabonde said...

I have enjoyed reading a couple of your last posts – you do write well. Thanks for coming to my blog. I was away and really saw how people lived during the hard times of early immigration. We visited the Tenement Museum in New York Lower East Side. They have the apartments just like they were in the 1890s (no water, no light, etc.) and up to the early 1900s. I’ll have to do a post on it. We have come a long way since then.

c said...

Cable out! No internet! Library! Disorientation! Scary story! Halloween!! [SCREAM!]

marciamayo said...

You are right, Cile. It was a really horror show, all 45 minutes of it.

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