Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Wowing ’em with tech talk

Now that I’ve sworn off dating, you might expect the man-drama portion of my life to wane significantly. But whether I’m seeking help for laptop or discussing the problems with Camino (a Mac-native browser I’ve lately learned about), my computer seems to thwart that.

So Tuesday afternoon, to my great excitement, a small white cardboard box arrived for me, containing the key to true high-speed: a 512 RAM card for my iBook. The following day, I schlepped Baby in for the local techs to perform the swap. All seemed well until I went home restarted the laptop, and watched it freeze seconds into the process. Various attempts at restarting failed to produce the magic “chime” that sounds when the system powers up. (Is it me, or are there certain parallels here to reviving a doomed relationship?)

Panicked at the prospect of a night without my laptop (as if I don’t get enough monitor face-time during the day), I considered my options. True, there were a few Mac techs I knew … but calling in their help was a dicey deal. Impatience shortly trumped any qualms however, and I marched over to my daybook to flip back to the post-it with Mac Tech’s cell phone. Sure enough, still there. Swallowing my reluctance at the zeal this might produce, I rang him up.

“Mac Tech? It’s Anna. From work.”

He sounded quite cheerful to hear from me. I stuck with a business-like tone (letting some helpless-female leak through) and explained how my laptop wouldn’t start. He immediately suspected the new RAM but was with a client and unable to say more. “I’ll be in at 8 tomorrow,” he reported helpfully. Damn. Restraining a sigh (I would not get up till 8 that day, it turned out), I thanked him and hung up.

Tapping my foot impatiently, I brooded over my options. I had by no means yet exhausted my list of techies. There was yet the West Coast “office.” And I really wanted web access for the evening.

Deciding on a compromise, I text-messaged Poster Boy:
Hey … Anna here. Having wee laptop problem. :( Can I call for a phone consult, or should I suck it up and wait to query our techs tomorrow? It won’t start.
Two minutes later, my phone rang. A responsive man is such a lovely thing … (fans self). Explaining the situation, I asked for a diagnosis.

“It’s probably bad RAM.”

“Is there anything I can do? I have the old RAM. Can I switch it out myself?” I changed my own brake pads, damnit. I’m not afraid to venture into hardware repairs!


“Do I need any special equipment? What about static?”

No, no. All should be smooth and well within my skill range. All I had to do was “touch metal” (apparently this had something to do with grounding?).

Alas, he neglected to tell me that size might be an issue. Specifically the size of my tools vis-à-vis those pesky laptop screws. No matter how many things I tried, there was nothing that would undo those tightly screwed screws with their heads so small. Faced with defeat at last, I resigned myself to an evening offline and made lemonade.

The following night, my tech woes spiced up the cocktail-hour chit-chat at an office Cinco de Mayo party in the in-house bar. These parties always create an interesting scene, in that you have countless young, single, hip, attractive coworkers milling in a small, contained space with (sometimes-free) booze and music involved. I’m just sayin’.

It was after all at just such a party I first met the Mac Tech. One Friday night the post-work happy hour lead to a nearly 3-hour conversation with a liberal Jewish guy who now reads my other blog during down time and frequently stops by to say hi. He seems eager for further talk.

Then there was the guy last night, a longish-haired MFA hipster who kept denying his inner nerd though admiring the passion with which I compared browser options and talked of my commitment to the Apple brand (no doubt, a Mac marketer’s dream). Then I told him about the words my last name rhymed with, one of which is a semi-construction term.

“I know the thing you’re talking about, but I don’t think that’s the word for it,” he said. Then his face lighted up. “The dictionary!”

You see, another quirk of Ad Co.’s in-house bar is a massive, ancient dictionary thicker than my arm that stands on a wooden podium like the whole thing was cribbed from a library. Inwardly gloating at our nerdiness, while no doubt basking in a strange unacknowledged romanticism to this moment, we flipped through the pages to the Js. Sure enough. I was right.

But when he raved how “intelligence is so hot,” I swiftly remembered an awaiting phone call to make. Which was the truth. Later I felt a bit guilty at possibly cutting him off abruptly, but I just felt weird. I mean, while it’s true I’m only a temp here, we are co-workers. And I’ve sworn off dating.

Apparently my brush-off didn’t strike him as rude, though; this morning he sent a follow-up email.