Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back In The Saddle

For this week’s prompt, we want you to recall those early memories of being online.
But there are two catches:
Please do not use the phrase “I remember…”
Also? No laundry lists. Try to focus on one small memory and share that with us. Tell us how it impacted your life and what it meant for you
I had been a stay-at-home Mom for 10 years. The youngest was enrolled in school, the budget was tight and I was going to the insurance agency to sign papers on a new policy, one that would save us some money. I walked out with new insurance and a job.

My sister gave me a bag full of hand-me-downs, because I didn't have any office clothes from the current century, or the money to revamp my wardrobe.

While I was at home teaching colors, manners, shapes, potties and ABCs, somebody invented the fax machine. The desktop computer had become a fixture in every office. Nobody was using mimeographs to make copies anymore. Carbon paper was a dinosaur. And I was someone who had learned how type (remember touch-typing?) on a manual typewriter. Oh. My. Gawd.

I sat down and looked at this thing on my new desk. Oh, sure, I knew what a computer was. I didn't own one. I pushed the power button. I waited. I clicked on that big lower-case e with Saturn's belt around it. I knew that my job required me to tackle this unknown territory. The home page was the insurance company's site. I clicked on "agent log-in".

Everything I had learned in school about research was obsolete. Everything I thought I knew about what it takes to have other people read your words was a moot point. No need for a thesaurus, a dictionary, a translation dictionary OR a style guide. Everything I thought about privacy was proven wrong.

I was online.

Always, feel free to comment! Trish in AZ


  1. Oh love this! You captured your small moment, and big change, perfectly. But it's so relatable to those of us at home today, our past professional worlds still moving and changing and growing. Aak! :)

  2. I remember not "getting" a lot of stuff. And now we can't imagine life without it. How did I go to school? How did I do my job? It boggles the mind.

  3. Even though I never got to experience things like this, I love hearing about them-I can't imagine life without computers but quite often I find myself wishing I got to experience life before them.

  4. Nice post. I sure do know what you mean about computers being foreign. It is amazing, isn't it, how much life has changed in the last 15 years?

  5. Great post, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I'm a fellow AZ blogger - northern AZ for me!

    I'm following along now.

    Smile and Mama With Me

  6. Okay, I'm a former AZ girl too. Lived in Tucson, Flagstaff, and Tempe at different points in my life.

    Anyway...what I love about this piece is that it captures that sense of fear and shock with these machines. How baffling they once were, and how overwhelming.

    One thought...the detail about privacy was introduced at the very end. Perhaps you could either expand on that idea or eliminate it. It seems that everything else you're discussing deals more with the tools of writing than the writing itself.

  7. So true and I love how you captured the shock of some thing so new and daunting.