Monday, July 12, 2010

An Unwelcome Reminder of How Spoiled I Am

Every once in a while, something happens to remind me that I'm a very lucky, very spoiled woman. Lucky in the fact that I was born to a middle-class American family, which immediately put me in a position superior to that of more than half the women currently living on Earth. And by "superior" I mean that I have all my basic needs met, have birth control, access to education, and a strong sense of self-worth and an ability to achieve my dreams. I have a wonderful husband who cherishes me and spoils me on a daily basis, in ways private and public. I have great friends who I love spending time with—so much so that my weekends are booked into August. I have a job that I love, working for myself and from home, two things that suit me very nicely. I love my job so much that when I was without work for two days, I was already missing it.

I also have a great many things that I take for granted, most of them electronic, and most of them are hooked up to the Internet. Which, when something happened to our cable connection this weekend, I realized exactly how materialistically spoiled I am.

We currently run our TV, phone, online gaming, streaming Netflix, email, and Internet through the cable line. It's a lot of dependency on one company, and usually they don't let me down. As for this weekend, I'm still not sure what happened exactly. My best guess is that our bandwidth was seriously hampered. I still had the ability to use the phone (that's always fun when the cable goes out and therefore my phone does too, and in order to let the company know, I have to find a payphone to call them and let them know, because, until two months ago, I didn't have a cell phone), and the basic TV stations that we normally received still came in.

However, I didn't want to watch boring TV. I wanted to watch a streaming Netflix. No dice. So I decided I'd hop online and check out Hulu, thinking it was Netflix having the problem. Nope. I couldn't even get Google's home page to come up. Email was out of the question.

To compound matters, Cody, my resident IT man, was out. When I got ahold of him, the fix was simple and one I honestly should have thought of myself: unplug and replug the modem. Problem solved. It was thankfully an easy fix, but it was a frustrating four hours in which nothing sounded enjoyable but the things denied to me.

The great thing about the whole annoying experience: it reminded me how fortunate I am. All those things listed in the first paragraph—those are the things that matter. In the grand scheme of things, Internet is low on the list. It's become a necessity for my job and for my writing, but were my apartment to be without Internet access for several days, I could find work-arounds. All those important things first mentioned I wouldn't trade and would never be able to replace.

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