Thursday, August 21, 2008

Out with the old and in with the new? Or, not... by Kat Magendie

I am typing on a brand new laptop. It has Windows Vista. It has a wider screen. It has fancy schmancy goobledoos on it that I haven't figured out yet. And funny, but it costs almost the same as the laptop I bought about six years ago, but with much better graphics, and more of those diddlebobbs and such...laptops, like other electronics, have become more affordable with more Stuff to figure out. I certainly am grateful for that.

Beside this Brand New Laptop sits my old laptop. It looks rather forlorn. It looks old and used and dusty. The missing o key sad. The screen dull and flat. Everything about the old laptop now looks dated and, well, a bit...shall I dare say it? Ugly. The new laptop is spiffy and clean and bright and full of hope and promise! I told the Dell representative, "It's like I have an old granny laptop." He answered, "Yup, you have the George Burns and we're sending you the Brad Pitt." We had a good laugh over that, but now, looking at that old faithful laptop, I feel a bit sad--not much mind you, as I know I needed to upgrade, but metaphorically sad.

I can't help but think of when we put "old things" away for "new things." And sometimes that happens to people. You can read above at the things I said about my old Dell and apply them to people as they age. Me included. It gives me a little bit of an uncomfortable feeling, thinking that way: personifying the inanimate object, and then further, applying it to Me.

I type right onto this "new post" instead of onto Word Doc, since I haven't downloaded all the programs yet, and since I haven't tried Word in Vista yet, and since I'm feeling around to see what all this thing will do...maybe it'll talk to me, tell me how glad it is I gave it a home (there I go again!). And as I type, I wonder if I'm making any errors, for typing directly onto blogspot, there isn't a spellchecker. I'm feeling reckless! My new laptop is giving me permission to do all manner of things! I am young again, just like my new laptop!

And again, I glance over at old faithful. A little slow. A little beat up. A little dusty and used. I was going to give her away (her? oh oh...) but, suddenly I think, "Why not keep it? Why, we could use her...um...it as I back up computer!" And it's as if I can feel the old laptop beside the new laptop give a little sigh of relief...it still has a home. It's full of my writing. It's got my fingerprints on it. It may have something important on it I need to find later on. Yes. Of course.

I am feeling generous. I am feeling like the lord of Old Laptop Land, where I make decisions about what will stay and what will go: It stays. There. I am feeling gratitude for old things, and for new things, and that I can keep something old around as long as it has breath...um...as long as it hums when I press "on." Ah.

6 comments:

Patresa Hartman said...

oh so clever!

so true! about how we value new over old. do you suppose it's cultural? my pappaw, who grew up during the depression, scoffs at most newness (except new cadillacs. he trades in his car for a new cadillac every other year or so.). but we just moved him and unpacked boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of old old old old old stuff (junk). he really likes old junk.

but new = fresh! and clean! and full of promise!

i'm sure your old laptop understands. she's probably glad for the rest. glad to no longer have you punching around all over her with your biscuit-lovin' fingers.

this is a long comment.

Barbara Quinn said...

My old PC sits in back of my newer laptop so I understand computer clutter and not letting the ole one go. After a few more years I'll be able to donate it to someplace that can use it after I figure out how to wipe the harddrive, which seems soooo cruel.

Enjoyed this!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Oh, but you've found the best combination of hanging on to the old for its value, service, and worth as a faithful companion...while bringing in the new. Works well with our peeps too.

Hugs and happy puttering/putering with Brad! ;)

Kathryn Magendie said...

P, your comment at the end made me laugh - heheheheee...

Barb... - my brother sent me a disc that acutally wipes everything from your computer - it can also wipe just selected things, but it completely erases -- he got it at Office Depot. He did that when he bought a new laptop and gave his old one to one of his employees.

Ang ...I need a new icon to name this one after - I'm not a Brader *laughing*

Tabmade said...

Ya know, if you download the firefox browser, it has spell check no matter where you are typing on the internet. And it's free of course. Now there's something to be grateful for! haha
I actually have my old computer tower sitting in the corner because I would feel sort of bad getting rid of it. I tend to give inanimate objects feelings. :P

Kathryn Magendie said...

Me too Tabmade! Like "oops, sorry chair -didn't mean to say you were ugly and I need a new one..."

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