by Robin Munson


It started out innocently enough.

Back in the early ‘90s, when I was working as a legal secretary, I was dragged kicking and screaming to the cutting edge of technology.  I was telecommuting – a big deal, back then.  Taking transcription in the comfort of my own home (most days, in my ‘jammies!)  At that point, I knew absolutely nothing about computers except that they had a keyboard that mimicked my old Olivetti typewriter.  My husband and I had some pretty fascinating conversations.  He would patiently try to explain how the device worked. My eyes glazed over.  When he said, “Okay, run the program. . .” I had no idea what he meant!  Several times I lost a whole day’s work because I forgot to hit “save”, and the computer, inevitably, crashed.  I took it personally.  I began to picture myself throwing the damn thing out the second story window, à la Jane Fonda in Julia. It took me about a year to get to the point where I felt reasonably comfortable transcribing my boss’s dictation and sending it back to the office to be printed.  As I think about it, it was an amazing process, and for a technophobe like me, it’s even more amazing that I finally got the hang of it.

It’s been some years since I retired from my secretarial duties, but my relationship with my computer has kind of blossomed into – well, into something – but I think it’s more of a weed than a rose.

Looking back, I see that my first computer “high” was when I realized that I could finally write anything – anything at all – no matter how mediocre, and the computer would make it beautiful!  Now I disgorged reams of neatly organized, spell-checked, grammatically correct drivel. No longer would I have to toil in my crooked, left-handed long hand on a legal pad, re-write in the margins and erase, then decipher and type them out, then copy them, then store them in a file cabinet.  Brilliant!  All that busy work:  Gone.  All that storage space:  No longer an issue! More time for writing, less hassle.  Abracadabra!

Then, I discovered the joys of e-mail.  Wow, what fun!  I could stay in touch with friends and family all over the world, let alone all over the country!  Even now, I am flabbergasted that I can e-mail back and forth with my sister several times a day!  (She is in Beijing as I write this . . . ) A few years ago, my nephew actually e-mailed me from his laptop while riding a donkey somewhere in the wilderness of India. (Don’t try to pin me down on the location.  I haven’t the foggiest!!)  

At first I thought all of the little acronyms were just annoying, the little pictograms, the J)s, the <3s . . .  Then, as if my body had been taken over by zombies, I too found myself adding LOL to every other sentence.  LOL!!  When I learned ROTFLMAO (rolling on the floor laughing my ass off hahahahahahaha!!), well, I felt I had finally arrived!! “Now I’m in with the in crowd!!!” I silently declared.  My current favorite is “IMHO”. . . But why should I translate?  (BTW, LOL,  everyone knows it’s “in my humble opinion”, I know,  right???!)

And the fonts!  OMG, the fonts!  I could even mimic handwriting  – which I did for a long time !!!  then got bored and went back 2 printing.  And so, the love affair continued. J LOL!!!!!

And – OMG! I discovered “e-cards”!!!!! J)   Now I can e-mail “everyone” I know for every possible occasion!!!!!  1- klik, and freinds  & family all receive cute little animated greetings 4 XMAS!!!!! BUT WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIT!!!!!  Y STOP THERE????  Everyone is Isirh on St. Patrick’s Day! LOL  &, IMHO, 0 says “luv” like an e-card for know particular reason – jst 2 say, “XOXOXOXO I <3 U!!!!!!”

Now, I’m “DESPRIT”!!!!  LLI come hmoe & all I cn do0 is go to the cPTr and ht “Sned/Receeve”!!!!!!!

Anythgn 4 me?????????!!!!!  Pour moi??????????????? YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!J J JsUT 4 J!!!! 

OMG – ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!- ASDF A !!!!!!!!!!

Snet frm my Blkbery . . . .

© Robin Munson

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