My first memorable experience with the wonders of technology occurred when I was two and began with a phrase I'd heard at my father's feet, where I often played while he studied at his desk or worked with a soldering iron and circuit boards: "I wonder what would happen if I did this." My father's mantra firmly in mind I sat behind his chair one evening with an admittedly pilfered X-Acto knife in my chubby little hand and considered a wall socket. "I wonder what would happen..." That night I learned one of the hard facts of life: technology can bite.
Forward twelve years. I have a boyfriend, a boyfriend who is three years older than my fourteen-year old self, a quiet boyfriend, it is true, but one who is kind, has a good sense of humor and how loves Star Trek even more than I do. What's more, he's fascinated by computers, and my father just happens to have built one himself from the ground up. The boyfriend comes over to visit. Whether he's visiting me or visiting the computer is a moot point; he's in the house, and my father isn't looking at his watch and asking loudly if "he's" still here, something Dad will do often in the years to come. I have learned another of technology's wonders: it attracts men.
Twenty-five years after this I'm crawling over ceiling joists, running cables and joking with Dad about networking my PC's and Great Scott's Mac, something that we both know makes my husband's hair stand on end. I'm not sure why he doesn't trust us. Just because we've spent some long nights trying to recover significant memory loss on one of my computers or had to wipe hard drives and start over, just because Great Scott sometimes comes home to find one of the PC's lying on its side with wires exposed and me up to my elbows in its innards, just because he knows my father has a penchant for working on electrical lines during storms without turning off the power first, is hardly reason to not trust us. Right? I'm thinking this may be technology's most wondrously utilitarian as well as entertaining value of all: making the husband nervous.