Well, I got my netbook, and a new video card for my computer, but now we've got to deal with Windows. It had a fit because it can't recognize the video card and, for no intelligent reason we can discern, can't start up in safe mode either. But I'm so used to having everything backed up all the time that as long as I have a machine I can work on, I'm happy. My netbook is nicer than the last laptop I owned - hence even more than I need at the price of a netbook. I love the technology market! The desktop requires either a new OS or the recovery disk, and we'll figure that out when Trevor's back from travel.
Last night, while we installed the video card, we needed a screwdriver, so called a friend, who came by and seemed to find our obsession with computer technology very strange. He'd never seen an Alienware before and couldn't fathom why someone would have a desktop that huge, or why it would need to be water cooled. Several mocking comments were made about the name "Alienware" - because I do that, don't you? Walk into people's homes and ridicule the possessions they've clearly put time and money into? When I explained it was for gaming, then he acted amused and said he "didn't have time for that". (Because as we all know, it's such a huge time investment...) While I appreciate the favor, I do get tired of the silly judgments people pass on me and my life. I never make fun of people who watch sports, or television in general, or shop for fun, or spend hours on Facebook, or just waste tons of time (well, okay, that does drive me up the wall). I especially don't mock people who have hobbies I've never tried.
I think we all feel defensive in this way. We're all a little different. Some of us are a lot different. I prefer to live in a small space, as small as is possible, because I hate cleaning and of all the things I could spend money on or invest it in, that just doesn't appeal. At age 34, I've had a law career and owned my own practice, and now own my own little jewelry business. I've published one novel and a handful of short stories. While living on my husband's small student stipend I prefer to be home with my young son where I write books, make jewelry, and let myself sleep whenever I'm able (still looking forward to going back on my sleep meds.) I often find it much easier to just be on my own than be around other people who invariably tell me that it's nice that I'm taking time "off" in life. Off? In the last seven months I've finished one novel that I've got out to agents, launched a home business, am halfway through another novel, and have provided full time childcare for my son. I don't do time off; I never have. It sounds boring.
Yet I often feel looked down upon by people who see my writing as a cute little hobby, the home business as invisible, because I'm not clocking in and clocking out and wearing suits, but instead just have a lot beads and wire around at all times, and the childcare as something that only people who can't get jobs do as a last resort. A lot of people don't go straight through school, so the very idea that I'd have a law career in my past just drops off their radar. Obviously I'm too young for that. It never occurs to me to comment on their jobs. I'm sure if I wanted to be a jerk I could come up with some scathing dismissals for what they do all day, but who wants to be a jerk?
I guess a lot of people are accidentally jerks. They just don't think. They blather on with their commentary without even noticing they're doing it. But anyway, this blogpost isn't about how alone I am. Quite the opposite. I think many if not most of us feel this way. That we can't be ourselves or talk about ourselves without inviting unsolicited criticism. Nevertheless, I feel people, even people who feel judged for their life choices, judge me for being a hermit too. Now that shouldn't be hard to understand at all. :-)