I know a little bit about many things, and a lot about some things. Overall, though, Mama didn’t raise no idjit; I’m well aware of the extent of my expertise, and for me, my knowledge rarely ventures into the realm of Technology. Specifically: anything electronic.
It’s just how I was raised, I think:
living in a farmhouse in the middle of the prairie, where we wore bonnets and slaughtered our own chickens and died of tuberculosis. A house with no video games, no computer, not even a cordless phone. None of this makes my childhood all that special, I know. But I also didn’t really spend much time with people who had these things, either. My cousins had an Atari, but it was kept in their basement, which was dark and scary (and painted orange? Why do I remember it being painted orange? Surely that isn’t true) so nope! Not going down there!
I also had a friend with a Nintendo, but the only game we ever played was Duck Hunt. And that was cool and all, but I only have maybe two memories of playing it. Because she also had a fucking trampoline, and who the hell wants to play Duck Hunt WHEN THERE IS A TRAMPOLINE NOT 50 YARDS AWAY?!
Later, another friend got a computer, and I was like HOLY SHIT! ARE YOU THE JETSONS? We spent time trying to draw pictures in Paint (or whatever), but using the mouse was suuuuuuuper frustrating – SO HARD! – and my attempts to “paint” a picture of her Golden Retriever ended up looking like I’d dropped acid first.
Plenty of people I know grew up the same way and became, like, computer engi-program-neers. For whatever reason, though, I just never took to any of it. ANY of it.
Once, only a few years ago, I was trying to be helpful and offered to start a load of laundry at a friend’s place, because I was an adult, and capable of doing fucking laundry. Right? Wrong! Turns out this friend didn’t own a washing machine; he owned a fucking spaceship that also somehow cleaned clothes. I stared at the thing, then started pushing buttons until it started lighting up and beeping at me, probably Spaceship Laundry Machine-language for do you even know what the hell you’re doing? until I had to call for backup and my Good Deed ended up being much more trouble than it was worth.
I once had a job that unfortunately required me to make many copies, and the office copy machine was also spaceship-like so I usually ended up just delegating Copying Duties to one of my staff members because I mean, I was technically the boss and I told myself these kids needed to learn Life Skills like copying something on both sides of one piece of paper, or printing something on letterhead so that the letterhead part is on TOP, which is something I fucked up every. single. time.
Now, at work, I sometimes use a two-way radio thing that’s kind of like a cell phone, but not? I don’t know what it is, to be quite honest. I know how to “chirp” the person I need to talk at, and that is all. I have a tendency to accidentally call them, and then they’re all like “What? What do you want? Seriously, QUIT CALLING ME.”*
I wonder what “it” is that makes (allows? enables?) someone to take to technology more than another. I always assumed whatever “it” was, I don’t have it.
Or do I not want it?
See how I described myself as some innocent bystander, humbled and awed by the Innovation surrounding her? Yeah, not quite. While those stories are true, they don’t paint a complete picture. Because – most of the time – that’s just the role in which I put myself. It fits, and feels comfortable. While I get frustrated and throw things when I can’t figure out how something works, most of the time I’m content to fake-bitch about how oh the world is so confusing! Please explain how these new-fangled things work! I’m so simple and confused! Just take me home to the prairie, please. I miss my bonnet!
But not the tuberculosis.
*No, no one’s actually said that to me. Yet. Actually, I get accidentally-called a lot too, so nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah.