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It can all change in a micro-second

standard October 31, 2007 5 responses

I walked into It’s A Grind with the intent to have a little coffee and a little writing time before heading out on my weekly walk around the dish. Most of the tables were taken, so Little L and I set up shop in an arm chair near a little table already being used by a young man hard at work on his laptop. I was hoping that a free table would open up by the time Little L was done nursing, but it was not to be. I got her settled into her car seat and opened up my laptop, perching it on my lap.

Little L toyed with me for a while, pretending to get drowsy and then snapping her eyes wide open. I alternated writing and shaking the stroller, but after a while I had to come to grips with the fact that she wasn’t going to sleep and that her crying was starting to disturb the natives. I pulled her back out and nursed her in a last ditch attempt at getting her to sleep. The problem was that I was on a streak and I didn’t want to stop writing, so I juggled for a minute until I reached a sort of balance; Little L on my breast and the laptop on my knee.

Everything went well for a few minutes and I was giving myself mental high fives. There I was working on my novel, nursing my infant; the picture perfect super mom. And then… and then… Little L spit up, I reached into the diaper bag for a wipe, my knee jerked up, and the laptop tilted back hitting my full coffee cup, spilling it all over the table… all the way into the guy’s Macbook. Pshht. Buh bye Macbook.

In a split second I went from feeling pretty darn good about myself to feeling like a big steaming pile of, of, of… loser mommy. Who was I to think that I had any right to be there with the serious writers? Me and my little fledgling mommy lit novel? I should have been home, folding laundry or making dinner. My house is a wreck, my oldest daughter is losing her mind, we’ve eaten out almost every night in a week, but I’m pretending to be a great writer and hanging with people who have a right to be spending hours with a laptop in a coffee shop. And I’m ruining their laptops!

I stood there, watching the coffee drip off the table, holding a squirming baby, stuttering that I’d pay for his computer and that I was oh so, so sorry, my confidence and self esteem in crumbs dissolving in the growing puddle of vanilla nut flavored coffee. I wanted nothing more than to run from that place, run back to my pig sty of a home and hide on my couch until it was time to go back to my safe little desk job. But I stood my ground and waited for the young man to come back from the bathroom with his moribund laptop. Then I drove him to an Apple store so he could see if they could salvage the beast.

I walked the Dish and I waited to hear from my new friend. He called as we were near the halfway point to tell me that the Apple genius had recommended letting the Macbook dry out for two weeks before trying to turn it on again. I reiterated my profound apologies and only stopped running my mouth just as it was about to offer the loan of my own laptop for the two weeks. I may not know if I’ll ever have the guts to go back to the coffee shop, I don’t know if my self esteem will rise back to the point where I can pick up where my pathetic excuse for a novel leaves off, but apparently I’m not quite ready to give up writing.

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5 responses

  • oh, I can just feel my face flushing up thinking about this. I’m so sorry! At least it seemed like he was nice about it…

  • That well and truly sucks. But may I ask, do the other coffee-drinker/laptop users in this place flash their writing credentials when they walk in the door? Or do you just ASSUME they have the right to be there and you don’t. Cause I’m guessing most of them are IMing their girlfriends or looking for a recipe for dinner tonight.

    You have every right to be there. Maybe just stop trying to juggle while you’re writing?

  • Is this like where my daughter squirms her way in between me and the computer, bends her head to the left and knocks a speaker AND a can of soda off the table onto the floor?

  • awww. man that sounds like you had a rough time.. it will be ok.. it sure is better than stayin home not doing anything.. which of course, who does that.. but you know what i mean. it will get easier

  • It can change. I hope you were able to pick your thoughts back up.

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