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It’s so great to have a future son-in-law who fixed the computer!

July 6, 2012

When I visit home Daddy usually immediately bombards with me a computer “maintenance” request. The solution typically is simple like restoring the system to an earlier checkpoint, requesting a temporary email replacement password or pressing F11 to re-reveal the toolbar. I love solving my parents’ computer problems because they clap and cheer like I’m a genius. As expected, when Ryan and I entered my parents’ house on the Fourth of July, Daddy stormed into the kitchen and asked me to help him get on the Internet. A contractor who ripped the paneling off the wall accidentally kicked the phone jack, dismantling most of the wires. I had no idea how to repair it and promised Daddy I would call AT&T after lunch. While we waited for the okra to finish frying, Daddy said every five or so minutes, “I need your help with the computer.” And I answered, “I’m going to call AT&T after lunch.”

However, Ryan worked in the telecommunications industry in high school and suggested we purchase a new phone jack at The Home Depot. We made the 9-mile trek to town and selected a neutral-colored phone jack that would mesh with the new molding in the computer room. Ryan got to work instantly upon our return. The MacGyver theme song played in my head as he twisted the wires, and I hovered over him with a flashlight whispering, “My dad is going to love you if you fix this. You’ll make his freaking day.” Several minutes later the Google homepage flashed onto the screen.

“RYAN FIXED IT!!!” I screamed toward the living room, where my parents and uncle had crashed after eating Mother’s rich food.

“Yeah!” — “All RIGHT!” — “Hooraaaaaayyyyy!” they applauded. I never had heard so much joy erupt in my household before. Daddy stampeded down the hall like a buffalo laughing and threw himself in the desk chair, attempting to log into his email account using his old password. I was forced to change his password several weeks ago for some stupid reason regarding a Yahoo/AT&T merger; I told the service technician on the phone that my father has Alzheimer’s, and there’s no way he’ll remember anything but the login credentials he’s been using for several years. My request didn’t emotionally sway the cold AT&T drone like I hoped. Once I convinced Daddy that I had changed his password, we accessed his inbox.

“Good. GAWD! I’ve got fo’ hundred ninety-three new emails!!!” he yelled, scrolling through an assortment of messages from Cabela’s, spam and forwards from Army buddies.

“Bravo, Ryan!” Mother trumpeted as she waltzed into the room. “Bobbin, your daddy just KNEW that YOU would be able to fix it.”

I crossed my arms and squinted, flabbergasted that my many years of changing my parents’ horizontally oriented print jobs to a landscape setting now meant nothing because of Ryan’s hour of Internet heroism. “It’s like you’re a saint now,” I huffed at Ryan.

Even after we left, Daddy carried on about Ryan’s computer wizardry.

“It’s so great to have a future son-in-law who fixed the computer!” he repeated throughout the night. The next morning while he and Mother walked the dogs, Daddy continued broadcasting his respect for Ryan. (I guess there are two ways for Timber’s and my significant others to earn Daddy’s love: graduate from Army Ranger school or keep him online.)

Mother took a shower after the walk, and when she got out Daddy started obsessing about the broken phone jack again. “We’ve really gotta call someone about the computer.”

“But Robert, RYAN fixed it yesterday…”

“Oh yeah.”

I don’t know what’s happening in Daddy’s brain that caused Ryan’s technical prowess to permeate his thinking but then disappear. I hope Daddy considers me the family computer whiz again, though, as ill-deserved as that title may be.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Timber permalink
    July 22, 2012 5:35 pm

    I can envision Daddy’s elation when Ryan fixed the computer! I would probably react the same way, though. I’ve become far too dependent on being able to get online. We need to go on a hike. There’s also a race in which I think we should compete sometime within the next year. I’ll send you the details later!

  2. July 22, 2012 8:59 pm

    I am down for a race. My daily running distance has dissipated to a measly two miles, and it would be great to have a reason to get in better shape.

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