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Friday Flasback – It can all change in a micro second

standard May 23, 2009 3 responses

Friday Flashback is all about bringing to light some of my favorite posts from my archives to breathe new life into them. This post that was originally published in October 2007. I’m posting it today because I recently worked in this coffee shop and the whole time I was there I was hyper aware of my coffee cup and all the laptops in the vicinity.

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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3 responses

  • Awww! I was mental high fiving you too! I don’t think I could multi-task so well! Hope you’re not too scarred over that incident. go back to the coffee shop and show them what a wonderful writer you are!! xoxo

  • That was the first post of yours I ever read. I remember thinking that you were actually very brave.

  • Okay…I read this post earlier today, and it’s been in and out of my thoughts ever since.

    Yeah, you could have wrecked a guy’s Macbook, and you didn’t–so catastrophe averted. I can understand your being upset.

    But–just because someone sits in a coffee shop typing away on his/her laptop all day doesn’t make him/her a serious writer. In that way, you were way too hard on yourself!

    Someone who endeavors to balance life, so to speak, and still write, seems much more serious–and hey, that’s you!

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