As I opened the box with a picture of a half-eaten apple, excitement surged: soon my life would have speed and efficiency. My current laptop was old, tired, and moving at a snail’s pace. Like that cliché known as a mid-life crisis, I needed a younger, newer model to make me feel alive again. But as I turned it on, my joy quickly dissipated. The internet connection in my new apartment was not recognizing the password and wouldn’t allow me to change it on my own. I needed help.
“Crap!” I mumbled. “How am I going fixed this?”
Sitting with my dilemma, frustration mounting, and sweat dripping, I recalled an incident when I was at a loss with a mechanical problem with my car. It was a bitterly cold afternoon last Christmas. The kids were home lounging in front of the TV, and we’d run out of snacks. Being the devoted mother I am to their empty bellies, I decided to brave the inclement weather for more chips and salsa, but as I put the key into the ignition, I heard a deathly silence. Like my garden in the freezing weather, the battery had died.
Now, I know how to fix some things, but when it comes to cars, I rely on a lovely little company known as AAA. Going back in, I went to pick up the phone when I was intercepted by my helpful thirty-two-year-old daughter Lauren.
“Mom! We can do this ourselves. You have jumper cables, right? All we need to do is Google it.”
“Why? I pay for their service,” I asked, confused.
“Nope,” she announced with conviction. “Think of this as a challenge. We’re modern women, and we can handle anything.”
Five minutes later, instructions in hand, we went to conquer the black beast sitting on the driveway. Following the directions step-by-step, we attached the cables from my car to hers, placing the red clamp on the red thingy, and the black on the black. Terrified it might blow up, I told Lauren to stand far away. Then, with a leap of faith (plus a lot of prayers), I turned on the ignition.
“See, we did it!” my child cried joyously. “Now, doesn’t that feel good?”
Returning to the project at hand, I clung to my daughter’s belief that I could master anything just by trolling cyberspace, so, with my old computer, I began investigating. Two hours later with no progress, and wanting to tear my hair out, I screamed, “Uncle!” and picked up the phone.
“Enough of this modern woman nonsense. There has to be someone at Comcast that can tell me what to do.”
Making the call, a knowledgeable woman magically took over the controls up in some cloud, and within five minutes, I was up and running.
Now, I understand the need for independence and self-reliance. Growing up with three feisty brothers taught me the only way to survive in our family was to stand on my own two feet, along with a good right hook. But this conditioning over the years has led me to become my own worst enemy. Too often, rather than ask for help, I, and my stubborn nature, wallow in frustration determined to prove I’m invincible. But no more.
So, Lauren, while it’s great to be self-sufficient, maybe the real test of a modern woman is to know when to ask for help. Just like the mind, time is too precious to waste, and I’d rather spend it doing something fun like shopping online, taking a walk, or better yet, spending it with you kids.