Saturday, January 24, 2009

Technical Feminist?

When it comes to things technological, Paul and I decided a long time ago that it's his problem. Setting up the computer, the stereo system, cell phones---that is strictly Paul territory. He gets it in a way that I don't, so there you have it.

Paul is a very patient person, and can explain things well. A big part of his present job is teaching and mentoring other people, and he has an endless reserve of patience. He used to man the help lines for TurboTax (I imagine the calls now go to India instead of Tucson, AZ). Just imagine those calls. Frantic people ready to toss grenades at their PCs during tax season. I cannot imagine the vitriol angry people have flung his way. Nevertheless, he received positive feedback and was asked to work for Quicken full-time.

He declined, and now deals with angry government contractors, instead. The point of all this is that he can explain complicated technological things to most people respectfully, thoughtfully, and in a way that is easily understood.

Unless he is talking to me. Whenever I ask him a technological question, the response is always the same: "Move." He'll then quickly do some voodoo on the computer or DVD player, or whatever. Problem solved, he'll turn to me, and as if it was the first time I've ever heard it, he'll say, "Ohhhh, and you're welcome!"

This line is from a Saturday Night Live skit circa 2002.

For quite some time, this arrangement worked well for me. Then we had children. Understand that my parents live in Colorado and only see the boys three or so times a year. My mother, in particular has a need to see updated pictures of the boys---to then print, slap in "Grandma's Brag Book," and show to innocent, Croc-wearing bystanders. While it makes me happy to know that there's a person in the world who coos over each droplet of drool and every wide-eyed smile of my progeny, it does complicated the technological relationship Paul and I have fostered over the years.

Mom needs pictures like an addict needs her fix. Paul and I keep her withdrawls at bay by posting digital pictures to Snapfish. For the longest time, I had no idea how to do this. So, I would ask Paul to do it, and he would say, "Later." Clearly, he did not understand the urgency.

I, on the other hand, would get daily phone calls from my mother. She would attempt to talk about other things, but she would, at the end of every call, oh-so-casually ask, "Have you had a chance to post any new pictures yet?" With each "no," the sighs grew deeper and longer, and I felt guilty for depriving my mother of such a small pleasure.

So, I took the leap and learned how to post pictures to Snapfish. It's not hard at all. If it was, Snapfish wouldn't make any money.

However, just today, I was talking to Mom. After I got off the phone, I attempted to download some shots, only to discover that I needed to log out of my account and get onto Paul's in order to do it. That was just too much work, so I decided to write this instead, and let Paul do it.

Sorry, Mom. Despite my attempt to bring our technological relationship from a traditional patriarchy to a modern partnership, the struggle is still there. Someday, maybe, I'll make the final crack in that glass ceiling, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the pictures I'll send you soon---from when Owen was a baby.

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