I am desperately and dangerously involved – at the age of eighty-three – in a long-term tempestuous relationship. I entered it eleven years ago during a period of great loneliness. I badly need guidance.
After forty-five happily married years my mate died suddenly and I found I could not go it alone.Though I was quite aged I was not old fashioned enough to seek a shadchun’s help. Lonely and desperate, I was barely managing to survive when I was introduced to Mac by mutual friends who believed they knew just what I needed to put the luck back in my luckshen kugel.
The match had awesome potential because Mac and I had so much in common. I wrote – he printed! I immediately wholly embraced him. Yes, embraced. I then immediately moved Mac in with me at considerable expense giving him choice space and light.
Those first months together were challenging but idyllic as we became increasingly intimate. I studied him carefully intent on learning how to get along. I was quite willing to adapt to his idiosyncrasies of which there were many. Most difficult were certain basic language problems.
Not content with common English usage, Mac seemed to need to exert his id – his electricity –by exoticising many ordinary words. Suddenly: bus, mouse, twitter, browse. Hertz, hibernate, network, surf, virus no longer meant what they’d meant. He balked unless I used his eccentric new terms, so I had to go along. Soon I was fluent: Byte, FAT, software, Google, cursor, hacker, Floppy disk, Firewall, ransom ware – not particularly poetic words but piquant. These original verbal tidbits at first added some excitement to my life. I would lie in bed reciting the new terms softly, tasting them, after a spirited session with him.: Server, Mozilla, farkled Thunderbird, warm standby, Motherboard, URL.
But little by little this eccentric usage has corrupted my own vocabulary and grace of expression. I feel he has violated my rhetoric without regard.He has taken over my usage and I don’t know what to do about it.
I am aware of what I will lose if I dump him. After all, I am sharing my home with a companion who is upright, dependable, and a total teetotaler. He is laconic but he does not lie. He is loyal. I need to note that night and day he is always ready for me. And no matter how frustrated or angry I am when I go to bed at night, he does get each day started fresh by exuberantly shouting “You’ve got mail!” in that hearty, masculine, very human voice.
On the other hand, he is secretive, capricious, and idiosyncratic. Often he hides things for no good reason. He erases whole documents and refuses to restore them no matter how hard I plead. He constantly corrects my spelling and usage though I am an English teacher. What I really resent most is his vast need for attention. He just stands there quietly looking attractive and available and trying to seduce me to get involved, and the minute I pay him the slightest attention he lights up and responds. I can’t live with him but I don’t know if I can live without him! What shall I do?