At a baby shower, I met a woman who had just recently regained the use of both her arms. She had broken not one, but both appendages, in a little mishap with a curb that left her unable to do even the basic functions of life by herself. She became completely reliant on her husband for food and clothing and, ahem, hygiene, and he took full advantage, dressing her funny and otherwise adding insult to injury in whatever way he could. (Thankfully, she had a great sense of humor.)
And I could totally relate (except for the great sense of humor part).
Not that I have even broken one of my arms, but I felt as if I were as inconvenienced as she was (OK, slight exaggeration) this past week as I attempted to vacation in luxury–without Internet. I have grown so reliant on the online world that I felt unable to do tasks that didn’t even require the Internet.
And so I went searching for wireless connections. I could connect at the condominium’s pool–but the signal was so weak that it took a modern eternity to load a page. (If I moved from the gazebo to the hot tub area, I got a stronger signal but also a stronger glare from the sun. That blinding solution didn’t satisfy me for long.) In the lobby, I could connect to the Internet, but it wouldn’t load a single Web browser. Just a bit useless. In the condo, if I tucked myself nearly on top of the night stand in the far west corner of the bedroom, I could connect to someone’s unsecured network–usually–until they renamed the network and added password-only permissions. (I wonder why they did that? Should I be offended?)
Having visited McDonald’s for its free wifi on my last vacation only to get my email account hacked, I didn’t venture beyond the condominium’s property line. I also have yet to venture into the “smart phone” world where I could actually connect to the Internet via my cell phone. Silly me. Or “Silly, Husband, smart phones are for kids!” (Kids = everyone I know except those on my phone bill).
All this to say that I’m thankful to be home–where the Internet connection is strong and secure. Where I can hop into a chair and access my online classes and actually complete my homework. Where I can soothe my anguished soul (so tormented by days at the beach and pool with family and friends) with housework and laundry and bills in the mail–and time online writing blog posts and commenting on friends’ Facebook status updates.
Ah! Dorothy was right. There’s no place like home. I can click my heels together (taking care to avoid nasty arm-breaking curbs), close my eyes, and be thankful my dutiful vacation is over and I am right where I’m supposed to be.
2 thoughts on “Two arms are better than none…”
The internet is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is my ability to have my daughter text me while the babysitter is at the house and tell me how her evening is going before my grown-up movie starts. Then I use it after the movie to look up a question that bothers me. I used to chat with the Publix checkout girl but now consider that moment my time to work while she tries to find the code for artichoke. The curse. The immediacy of life is what is expected. I think that coming home from vacation to the familiar including the predicability of the internet is our new normal. So normal we are.
So true, so true! It is both a blessing and a curse–and our new normal. I try fighting it (a little!) and usually fail. 🙂 Thanks, Susan!