the great keyboard caper
June 25. 2000

Anyone who knows me know I have an unrivaled talent at breaking things. Whether it be my possessions or myself (two broken bones and several sprains in my 19 year existence), the more valuable and unusual the possession, the more likely I am to break it. A month or so ago it was some pottery made by Deborah. Of all the things on my bureau, the thing that had to break was the one that was the most delicate and precious to me. It didn't help that her pieces are eggshell thin.

I really think it was all Sara Astruc's fault. She was the one who mentioned in an entry cleaning under the keys by popping them up using a butter knife. But no, it was me who accidently broke off two miniscule plastic parts under my spacebar that rendered it useless, and thus the whole keyboard. This was last night. I cried, I moaned, and called myself all sorts of names. John suggested I put it away for the night to calm myself down. As usual, he was right.

The next morning, my Dad tackled the problem anew. He ended up taking the entire keyboard apart. Well, I never knew the inside of a keyboard looked so cool. Like something off the U.S.S. Enterprise. My Dad got out his little tackle box full of goodies that he uses to fix fencing weapons, and went to work.

Dad fixing my keyboard

He even had a little solderer, a little handheld thing, which he used to melt the piece of metal into the plastic. He got so into what he was doing that, as I chanced to look up, saw a small cloud of smoke rise from his head.


He jerked his head back in time enough to only singe the ends of it. My Dad has a crew cut, so his hair isn't very long. The singed edges were turned a light brown color, and I quickly brushed them out. The smell was terrible.

About two hours of work and singed hair was to no avail. The space bar still wobbled and wouldn't work, so it was off to Staples to get a new one. Daddy and I went together, and it would have been a lovely father-daughter excursion if dear Gary had not decided to pick this particular time to tell me everything I was doing wrong.


I guess I am to blame, I got into the car, and I knew I was a captive audience. He went through his usual spiel, about how irresponsible I am, how lucky I am to have the things I have and how he never had these things when he was my age, etc etc etc. If you have parents, you know the drill. The thing that kills me is that I am considered just as irresponsible now, working 40 hours a week at a well paying job, as I was last summer when taking my first stab at self-employment (which crashed and burned, but that's another story for another day).

Then I had a minor epiphany in the car. No matter what I do, now matter how long and hard I work, no matter how thin and beautiful and successful and smart I am or become, he'll never be satisfied. He'll never stop finding something to complain about. I can understand parents wanting to make their children better people, but sometimes it seems like he's out to give me one life long guilt trip. Which he does, fabulously well.


Anyway, we went to Staples and I got a new keyboard, for only $15 on sale. It's an ergonomic one, real pretty. Now I just have to relearn to type.

my new keyboard

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