The break-up

by Lisa Roberts

No one has ever dared tell you this, but, I am done drinking the Kool-Aid and pretending. Word Perfect, you are a tyrant, a bully, a devil working overtime. You interrupt me with pop ups like a three-year-old demanding ice cream. You have yet to suggest an edit or correction that is any kind  of improvement. How can you be so pompous, so arrogant? You don’t know me. Most of your suggestions consist of throwing dice. “I think she means to say.” I know what I mean to say and I can say it myself. Thank you very much!

Our relationship mimics the one I am forced to have with my brother-in-law who explains every Thanksgiving that Martians gave him the recipe for the mashed potatoes. “The Martians secret ingredient is b-u-t-t-e-r,” he whispers in a low voice, afraid someone else will hear. I only have to deal with him on holidays. I am forced to interact with you on a daily basis.

I am in my sixties and I remember life before you. I remember typewriters. A typewriter works with you. Yes, Word Perfect read that sentence again, I know it’s a foreign concept it you. A typewriter says, “Set your margins, I will respect your choice.” We will prepare contracts, and pristine wills. “Together we will help you get the promotion and raise you deserve.” We had a warm and loving relationship until you bullied your way into our lives.  Total domination is your only goal. And yet, you must admit the ability to cut and paste has not cured cancer, abolished war or saved humanity.

You have even created a wedge in my relationship with my husband. He is younger and has only known you. He is exasperated that I cannot work with you.

“Take the time to learn to use it.” He pleads as though the fault is mine. I know better, I know there is no working WITH you. You will not tolerate a relationship of equals. I know in my heart no matter what I learn, no matter how hard I try to make this relationship work, you will never stop interrupting me with pop ups, changing my words, running out of power at a crucial time. We are done, finished, over.

I sit on the couch and anxiously wait for the deliveryman. I hear the knock and open the door. He is six feet, 27 inches tall, built like a refrigerator. The box weighs 3620000 tons and he strains to keep it upright.

“Please, put it there.” I say pointing to the kitchen table.

“Please open it for me.”

He pulls a knife from his back pocket slits the tape on the top of the cardboard, lifts it out. He grunts, strains and starts to sweat as he places it gently on the kitchen table.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
“What is it?” he asks.

“It is a 1978 IBM Selectric typewriter.” I announce proudly as if I have just given birth to the messiah.

“What are you going to do with it?” he asks, puzzled.

“Live in happiness for the rest of my life.”

“Great.” he says rushing for the door to get away from this crazy lady before she can turn him into a cat.

I plug her in, listen to the hum, run my fingers over the keys. Her response is light and quick, exactly like I remember.

“Oh baby, I missed you.”

Lisa Danny-Roberts is a recovering lawyer. She lives in a small town in Colorado with six chickens, a cat named Max and her husband.

2 thoughts on “The break-up”

  1. Wonderful! Exactly how I feel about whoever is running my so-called “personal computer,” and is never personal enough to explain the changes made overnight without any input from yours truly, the supposed owner of my “personal” computer or warning that said “updates” — i.e. upsets — are about to be made. Unhappily, I am unable to follow this resolute author’s example, because I was never any good with typewriters either. As for complaining, I’ve always been first-rate.

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