The Internet at my home was dead for 3 days. I purposely use the word “dead” because I acted like someone had died—maybe not a relative, but a good friend on whom I really had come to depend for just about everything.
Seriously, I thought that I had escaped my life with zero addictions; but when your personality is radically altered without your fix; and you lie and steal to get your next hit, you must admit to yourself that you have a problem.
Let me be clear: I do everything online. I buy everything from evening gowns, soccer cleats, furniture, books, cleaning supplies, and bulk food online. Amazon Prime, UPS and FedEx know me by my first name. I get new recipes, exercise routines, buy movie and concert tickets, plan travel, and read the news daily online. I run a business and write this blog; communicate with friends online. My husband and I manage our kids via online calendars. Lastly, the music in my house, my heartbeat, is operated wirelessly, which means, without a doubt, I was not my normally pleasant-self (that’s a nice way of saying that I was a bitch) without my WIFI. I was off. In a nutshell, I couldn’t function.
The first minute I realized that I was having connectivity issues; I called Comcast (ever notice how Comcast rhymes with dumbass?). Of course, I was put through the button pressing Olympics, the automated message maze, the Texas hold-em-while-we-play-crappy-music torture, until I was finally greeted by a very happy customer service representative named Michael. It bothered me that Michael was happy because the world was bleak.
Michael guided me through several unsuccessful exercises to fix my connectivity; one of which had me using pliers. Pliers! I contend that my role shouldn’t go much past turning things off and on. Once I pick up a pair of pliers, I believe that I should get some sort of compensation or at least a discount on that huge monthly Comcast bill. But I was desperate, so I complied. At that point, had Michael asked me to climb on a tower somewhere, I would’ve been climbing like Spiderman.
At the end of the call, Michael determined that a mechanic needed to be dispatched to my home; and they would be coming on Saturday. It was Wednesday! It was good that I didn’t climb up on a tower because I would have jumped.
Desperation set in. I started checking the modem constantly. No lights. I kept trying to get online anyway. In between my trips to Starbucks to use the internet I am convinced that I am missing vital business emails, life-changing announcements, major pop-up sales, notices from my kids schools. I am a marionette with no strings.
I called my pusher again — I started stuttering and lying. Comcast needed to help me! When my Internet is down, my home phone services are also down, so I told Comcast that I have an elderly aunt living here, who can’t call 911 if there is an emergency. The first representative was unmoved. Voice breaking, I demanded to speak to a supervisor. She moved my appointment up to Friday. I became outraged. I thought, “What about my poor, imaginary Aunt? She could die any day now because of Comcast.” Every time I left the house I swore that I was going to sue Comcast if my imaginary aunt died when I was gone.
On the third day, I started stealing. I figured out my neighbor’s password and I started shamelessly sucking the hell out of her bandwidth. My kids would find me sitting in a specific corner on the floor in the living room or wrapped up in a blanket outside in the cold just to pick up a signal, but I was online. Ahhhhh….
On the fourth day, the internet miraculously started working again. I’m not ashamed of my behavior when I was off. I’m too juiced about being back to look back. I got my fix and thankfully my imaginary aunt is just fine.
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more