It took me a few weeks to be able to write this post because I had to let the wound heal a little. And by wound heal a little I mean every time I think about it my throat starts to close up and my eyebrow twitches uncontrollably for about three hours.
It was your ordinary Thursday night. Nick went out to meet his buddies and I settled in with a nice glass of wine and prepared myself for a few hours of uninterrupted cyberstalking. I typed in my password to log on to my computer and it wasn't accepted. Five tries later and I remembered Lila had snuck into the office that morning and I found her banging away on my laptop, so I realized she must have changed it.
Which, if you've ever changed a password, know that this task requires you to first confirm you want to change it, type in the old password and then type in the new one. Twice. Considering she's 1, this confirms my suspicions that she is actually a midget Russian spy sent to gain secret footage of me taking a dump which will be sold online. No human being should be as interested as she is in what happens behind the closed bathroom door.
Anyhoo, because I am American and I was born with the inherent knowledge that everything on Earth comes with a safety net, I calmly called Gateway to ask them to help a sister out.
"Yes, I would be happy to help you reset your password. But in order to do this your computer will revert back to the factory settings. All files and pictures will be wiped clean."
It took about three seconds for my brain to translate his thick Indian accent into American.
3... 2... 1...
Cue. The. Crazy.
"No. I need another option," I said, with the first twangs of panic starting to drizzle on my head.
"I am sorry - that is the only way."
I became completely frantic. I explained to him that every picture I've ever taken of my kids is on this laptop. Every video. Their first steps. First meals. Births. Birthday parties. Halloweens. Christmases. That picture of me where I look really hot.
And my book... my God my 400 page book that I've been working on for almost three years.
I asked to speak with his supervisor. While on hold I burst into tears. You know, the ugly tears where you get a headache because you're face is all contorted and you look like a donkey getting ass raped.
Through tears I begged him... as a Mother, as a human being... my laptop is my life. Short stories I've written, taxes, my address book. Everything. EVERYTHING.
"Listen, sir - you don't know who you're dealing with here. I write a blog. *sniff* It's called Skidmarks. You've probably heard of it.
I have 475 likes on Facebook. I can destroy your little multi-billion dollar company with the push of a button. And you'll be fired for sure."
I was frantic. My chest tightened as I thought of more and more pieces of my life which were apparently lost forever. Could I take out this hard drive and buy a new laptop? No. Could I take it to a computer repair shop? No. I hated this man with all my being.
"Okay, I'm about to throw up and faint and die. I have to hang up now."
"Yes ma'am. You can call back when you are ready. We at Gateway are committed to your satisfaction - have I done everything to exceed your expectations today?"
"Oh my god. I honestly didn't think it was possible for me to hate you any more than I did 5 seconds ago. No. You've been about as useless as a bull with tits. I hate you. Die!" *sob* <click>
I immediately called Nick.
*gasp sob gasp snort raspy breath* "Liiiiiiiiiila..." *quick breathing sob snort* "Changed the password on my computer *sob snort fart gasp* and the guy said the only way to reset it is to wipe everything out I'll lose all the pictures I have of the girls and that picture of me where I look really hot!"
Nick did not in any way share my grief and in an infuriatingly calm tone of voice asked me why I hadn't backed up my files on the external hard drive we bought. This required me to hang up on him and call my friend Carrie.
*gasp sob gasp snort raspy breath* "Liiiiiiiiiila..." *quick breathing sob snort* "Changed the password on my computer! I've lost everything!"
"First of all. Next time you're going to need to start that sentence with 'My computer.' I just ran out the door in my underwear."
"I need you to coooommmmme o" *sob* "vvvvvvv" *raspy breath* "errrrrrrrrrrr!" *hysterics*
"I'm on my way. And why haven't you backed that shit up?"
Another part you have to understand is that this event came right on the heels of me dropping my Blackberry into the toilet at the gym, where I lost all pictures and video from the past four months, including everything from Hadley's birth and Christmas.
Also it had only been a couple of weeks since I started taking my Zoloft and it hadn't had a chance to really kick in yet.
I was sure Nick was terribly worried about me and halfway home by now so I decided to call him back and tell him Carrie was coming over to lend some moral support.
Of course he was showing his sympathy in a different way, by ordering another round of drinks and forgetting that I had even called. However, he did point out that if it was THIS easy to destroy all your files, then every murderer and child molester would just change their password before the FBI confiscated their computer.
He had a point. All this talk about murderers and child molesters gave me a glimmer of hope.
I called my Mother-In-Law, who I remembered had a computer problem a few months ago. She advised me to call the Geek Squad at Best Buy, and she also put out an APB to the most tech savvy group she knows, her bridge club.
By the time Carrie arrived I was on my second Jack Daniels and was dialing the Geek Squad.
"Thank you for calling the Geek Squad, how can I help you?"
"Umm, yes. My daughter reset my password and..." *sniff gasp sob*
"Oh we can reset a password. It's 30 dollars."
*sniff* "What? *sniff* You can? A Windows... 7 password?" *gulp*
"Yeah. It happens all the time. It takes about a half hour."
*chug* "Um, wait. Okay. See you in the morning?"
So the rest of my night was spent drinking with Carrie and looking at Faces of Meth.
A close second to cyberstalking.
The next day my files were saved from oblivion, and Best Buy even backed up my files onto DVDs for a few dollars extra.
I guess due to security/legal issues, Gateway can't reset your password for you. Which, I mean, I sort of understand. But why can't they refer you to someone who can? People's lives, their memories, their livelihoods are on their laptops. They can suck it.
So really what I guess I'm saying here is that you shouldn't do Meth. It's a really scary drug that makes you look like you're 90 when you're really 12.