I hate to feel stupid. There were more than a few people in my life who spent most of my childhood trying to make me feel stupid and inferior. They used every opportunity to remind me of my shortcomings. My first husband made me feel stupid. He had to put me down in order to make himself seem grownup. After all, we were just kids when we married. I guess we were both stupid. I’ve had some bosses who thought I was stupid, mostly because I had so little ambition.
Yesterday a machine, and my son, made me feel stupid. Did I mention, I hate that!
My old computer is dying. I bought an external floppy drive for my son’s computer and we are transferring data from my old one. Or I should say we were, until I got the bright idea that I might send some of my photos via email to my own account. My computer hasn’t been connected to the internet in months, so when I connected it there were updates and virus scans to be done. That took about thirty minutes or more! When I tried to use Hotmail it wouldn’t work. When I tried to get off the internet and back to Word, the whole system collapsed. It never fully recovered. I tried restarting it and it wouldn’t go beyond a certain point. There wasn’t a current restore date. There wasn’t anything I could do. Robert finally had to put it in “safe mode” for me and we will do what we can with the data that is left.
The most frustrating part of the whole afternoon, and believe me when I tell you we spent the whole afternoon on this, was that I didn’t understand half of the remedies Robert tried. I didn’t even understand the most efficient way to retrieve the data when the computer was still operating correctly. Robert had to show me how to check the amount of data in each file and how to decide if I wanted to move a whole file or part of it. He had to show me how to “drag and drop” between two windows, instead of “cut and paste”. I didn’t know how to put it in safe mode or even retrieve half of the data we managed to save. Without Robert’s help I probably would have sat in front of the computer screen and cried. I felt like it anyway, even with his help. And instead of feeling grateful for his help, I felt stupid. My whole spirit returned to those childhood days of feeling inferior.
I know I should cut myself some slack. Robert is a genius. He works with computers every day, all day long, and has for years. He loves to “experiment” and try new things, and push keys, while I’m terrified of breaking something. He tries to help me and I know he is frustrated by my defensive attitude. But I can’t help it. When he starts flying through steps and pushing keys with abandon, I just feel stupid.
This will continue to be a problem, and it’s my problem. I have to get over it. We’re getting a new computer at the end of the month and I know I won’t understand half of the new things it will be able to do. I won’t even be able to install it without Robert’s help. It will have Vista and all kinds of other differences, and some will make me feel stupid. But I know something else about myself. I’m stubborn. I won’t let some machine stand between me and something I want to do. And if I want to continue my blogs and my research and communicating with friends, I’d better get used to feeling stupid. It seems to come with the territory.