Monday, June 29, 2009
I was on the phone with Comcast the other day for, quite literally, 57 minutes. Good times, those long tete-a-tetes with your cable provider, no?
We had to switch our modem from a business unit to a residential one and, for some reason, the minute we did, nothing worked. No tv, no internet, no phone. It was all Little House on the Prairie. I sent bird signals to my sister to pick up milk.
It was frustrating. We get so used to feeling "connected." Whether it be via television, the internet, or (for some people) the phone (and that parenthetical is there because I am the WORST phone-person in the history of the planet--ask my mother-in-law.) We get so used to feeling like we have knowledge--of everything--right at our fingers and that we can be in touch, not only with information, but with the people we love (or socially network with. heh.) at the drop of a hat.
This Comcast phone call took place as my husband was in the air, on the way to India to see his grandmother who had, seemingly out of the blue, fallen into a coma. Hands were wrung, logistics were hashed out, tears were shed and, as the sum total of it all: My husband knew in his heart that he had to go be with his grandmother and grandfather. And I loved him even more for that being the case.
Yet, there I was, left with details like getting our On-Demand back on (normally something firmly in my husband's domain...having to do with that blasted "technology"...), so that our eldest did not revolt against the world because of a day without the Berenstein Bears.
"I don't understand," I said. "Our--what is the word? Our white box thing? Our router was working fine before we switched the other thing," I concluded, super proud of myself for coming up with the word "router."
"I here you ma'am," Mister Super Comcast Tech Guy said, "but I can see here by proxying into your system that the new modem is working absolutely pristinely (ed: pristinely? really?), but that it can't connect to your router."
Connections. We try to make them all the time. We try to make sense of things in the everyday that are--let's face it--pretty random. In the last week, here are some of the things that have happened: Michael Jackson died, Farah Fawcett died, my husband's grandmother went into a coma, my brother-in-law's grandfather passed away, one of our best friends was hospitalized for a staph infection, my sister's wedding invitations went out, I decoupaged a table, my middle son learned to love blueberries and finally said "mama" instead of "papa" (which is, believe it or not, what he called me)...
What does it all mean?
None of "it" mattered during the Comcast call. "It" was rendered meaningless because, unless I got Sprout On Demand back, my kid was gonna torch the house.
"Is there something I can do to re-set the router," I asked, plaintively?
"Of course, let's try it again," Mister (kind of annoying) Super Comcast Tech guy said...for the ninth time...
And again, off we went to regain our connectivity.
One of the first things my husband and I talked about when we heard the news about his grandmother was, of course, the fate of his grandfather. What happens to somebody when your connection to the world and your lifeline is taken from you after 60-some years of marriage? What becomes of you? How do we make life worth living for him if the worst case scenario comes to fruition? How do we connect him to us? What will we be like when we are in the same situation--hopefully, knock-on-wood, pray to whatever god(s) you believe in-- years from now?
My husband's grandparents don't have a traditional love story, but they have a love story nonetheless. One that takes them from Ghaziabad to Kampala and back again. One that includes the addition of a daughter-in-law (my mother-in-law) who added much needed laughter and love to the house and glue to the family. One that has allowed my husband to have memories of being a 3 year old toddler, bouncing on the knees of his beloved Vaddi Mummy.
Love is random and it has no script. Kind of like conversations with cable service-providers.
"I give up, I don't know what to do," I told Mister (now super annoying) Super Tech Comcast guy who--honestly?--at this point (minute 49) was losing patience with me.
"I think you need a new router ma'am," he said, oozing false politeness.
"But I don't understand," I cried, appealing to rationality in a world where it doesn't exist (aka Comcast). "The router worked fine today. It only stopped working when we changed the modem!" I said (mentally patting myself on the back for using both "router" and "modem" in one sentence).
"I can't explain it ma'am," he said. I gritted my teeth. Of course you can't, I thought.
"But sometimes, if you have had a modem and a router together for a long time, and you change the modem?"
Yes, I thought, waiting for some sort of fancy technical voodoo retort.
"Sometimes the router remembers the old modem...," Comcast-Tech-Guy said, trailing off.
Sometimes the router remembers the old modem?
"Sometimes the router remembers the old modem...and misses it..."
Wow. My router misses my old modem.
They had been together for 5 years.
As long as I've been married.
What does it all mean?
Love is all around us.