Losing all my marbles first thing

scream copy“Could you check our online account?” Mike yells at me from his office. “My computer’s blocking pop-ups and I can’t figure out how to log in since they upgraded their system.”

It’s Saturday, 9 am, and I’m just getting my first cup of coffee and looking at a yard filled with leaves and starting to be overwhelmed. How do I fit in a run, clean up the yard, pawn my kids off on someone else while we go to a football game, browbeat our oldest child into doing his homework, and both kids into practicing their music…

Not to mention figuring out what Monday’s blog’s going to be about. Yeah Monday. You think I do this stuff way in advance?

Have we met?

So, sure, I’ll stop what I’m doing and log into our account.

Which, as Mike said, is on a site that’s been updated.

I reconfirm my user ID and download the user agreement in order to proceed.

The user agreement is 41 pages long. It takes ten minutes to load. I get another cup of coffee, and then scroll through the thing, reading subheads as they flash by. Yes, fine. “Agreed.”

I have to reset my password. Can’t use that, I’ve used it before. Can’t use that. Letters and numbers only. Can’t use that, I need at least one capital letter.

My computer’s slow. Might have something to do with the eighteen tabs I have open on this browser, or the eleven applications I have open on the desktop, or the fact I haven’t shut it all the way down for at least a month.

Electrical birds nestIt could be the fact that the cable guys came by a while ago, and now there’s an orange cable strung from one side of our house, through the neighbor’s yard, along the top of the fence, disappearing somewhere along the back of someone else’s house down the way, and which at any point since installation may have been subject to a good gnawing by squirrels.

I think someone forgot to schedule a follow up. Or else our cable guy is actually an electrician trained in Mumbai.

So every time the screen refreshes to tell me I’ve done it wrong, it takes about seven times as long as it should. Finally, I come up with a password that we all can agree on. I pull up my super secret document where I track of all my passwords with their numerical/alphabetical/at-least-one-capital-letter-or-no combinations and enter everything I’ll forget, then return to the online account.

Reconfirm username? Okay here. Password? Okay here.

That’s not the correct user name and/or password combination I reset five seconds ago?

Fine. Reset password. Again.

Answer secret question. And another. Can’t be too careful.

Enter last four digits of the primary account holder’s social security number. That’s probably Mike, not just because he’s the one with the penis (my first indignant response), but because he the organized one who sets up all our accounts.

Hang on, this account is not authorized for password reset via email.

… And this account has now been locked due to suspicious activity.

Mother of ALL THINGS HOLY I’m going to …. take a slow, cleansing breath.

I dial the 800 number, select the options for managing my online account, and then for speaking to a bona fide person, and listen to a recording about how the online system has been upgraded and instructions on how to do all the stuff I just did to get to the point where my account has been locked due to suspicious activity.

Then Seth comes on the line. Seth has a soothing baritone and can take care of me with just a little information on my part.

I try to explain how I got to where I have to speak to an actual person and it’s only 9 am on a Saturday and I have better things to do with my time, and I can’t even remember all the steps I just took to get to where my account is locked up.

And because this conversation is coming around to a point where I have to confirm my actual password to an actual person out loud, I’m regretting that product of the angst I was feeling at the time.

I promise never again to use BigDumbDouche as a password.

And Seth tells me in his soothing baritone he can reset everything to do what I need, but he’ll have to set up another online access account, which is totally free, but it won’t be the main access because to do that he’ll have to speak to the primary account holder.

I don’t know what that even means, and I’m also thinking to myself so you can’t just talk to ME because I lack a PENIS? Which is ridiculous. Mike’s the primary account holder because he set up the account, and no, he’s not available, he’s now in the bathroom, having sabotaged my whole Saturday morning.

And all this, for some reason, is something I think would be unseemly to reveal to Seth-with-the-baritone.

All of which ends up being the story of either:

  • Why I sometimes start drinking well before noon on any particular day, or
  • How my computer ends up flying through the plate glass of our living room window, landing in a yard full of leaves that have yet to be raked, or
  • Why I don’t have anything to actually blog about today.


Did you catch that I’m giving away an autographed copy of Motherhood, May Cause Drowsiness? It’s true. Details here.


I know. We all expect more on a Monday. Just vote, if you would please. Thank you.


Scream photo by Greg Westfall

India photo by Michael Cannon

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No comments

  1. Are we living parallel lives? That wasn\’t Monday for me, but totally could be.

    Here\’s hoping you have a lovely bottle on hand, and don\’t damage any computers.

    Deep, cleansing breaths. Right?

  2. I think there is a reason I found your blog today through Mommy Blogs! You just made me laugh and I needed that today! There is so much perfection out there with social media that you start think that no one has a bad day anymore:) I absolutely love when I find humor and reality!

    Thank you for that!


    1. Thank you! what a lovely thing to say. Yes, there is way too much of something on the interwebs these days. I don\’t know if I would call it perfection, but it sure isn\’t reality, is it?

  3. Oh, my goodness. Did a spit take on your password. You are so my people. Sometimes when I have to re-save as irritating documents too many times they get very creative names. Sadly, this makes it difficult later to identify what an actual file contains…

  4. OMG–
    What a coincidence! I am reading your blog right now while waiting for a live chat response from my internet provider!
    I am normally a patient person, but I am LIVING your wish to throw the laptop through the window in frustration and scream.
    First, I painstakingly typed out how I got an email from them saying that someone requested an address change on my account, asking me to contact them if I did not do so. (I didn\’t.) I got this reply, \”I understand your problem is an issue logging in?\” Um, NO!
    Going back and forth like this for 14 minutes now…
    Thank you SO MUCH for helping me to laugh instead of implode.

    1. Oh man, I hope you got it resolved and were able to put it behind you. That\’s the joy of blogging, right? Keeps us from wanting to kill someone (mostly) …

  5. Thanks, Mel! I sometimes think I should take up meditation. If I just had one more hour to my day, that\’s what I\’d put into it. I think I might be doing it wrong …

  6. I wouldn\’t say YOUR husband would do this, but MY husband always asks me to do this sort of task for him because 1. I worked in customer service over the phone, and I know their wiley ways, 2. he know it is going to be SUPER aggravating and can\’t wait to get away.