Every day when I leave work, I call my husband to let him know that I’m on my way. It’s a habit that we’ve followed since we seriously started dating around 8 years ago. Some days it’s just a quick “hey, I’m on my way” and some days it’s an entire conversation that lasts until I get into the garage at home.
Today, we weren’t a minute into the call and my blood started boiling. I could feel myself getting tense, even mad. And what would set me off so? One little comment – “I was going to call you earlier today for the password to your laptop but I figured it out so I’ve been using it outside today.”
My laptop? MY laptop?! I had to bite my tongue so I wouldn’t say that out loud. I mean, first of all I’d decided to take “his” car to work today instead of driving “my” car so to open that can of worms at the moment might have been unwise on my part. We also have tried very hard not to use possessive descriptions of our belongings with the understanding that what I have is his and what he has is mine. But…still…that’s MY laptop!!
Fortunately, a call on the other line caused me to end our conversation and distracted me until I arrived home. Very nonchalantly, I let him finish what he was doing on MY laptop and then he handed it back over. At least, that’s what should have happened, if I weren’t so selfish. Instead, I snatched the laptop away from him and cradled it in my arms. Okay…that didn’t really happen either but it’s what I envisioned it must have looked like to him. Either way, I was back on the laptop as quickly as could be.
I had to think about why I felt so upset that he had used my laptop when I wasn’t there. It’s not like I could use it at the time, being at work. We have a desktop he usually uses but it’s inside, of course, and I love using the laptop outside on the patio. He was just trying to do the same. Why would I feel this way?
Slowly, it dawned on me. My laptop is the ONLY place I go that’s separate from everything else in my life. There’s no work stuff on my laptop, I have it setup just the way I like it, all of my files are safe, I’m careful about what I download, and I’m technically adept enough to keep my laptop virus free. No kids use my laptop and I keep lots of notes about Squidoo and this blog on my laptop. This laptop, in essence, is my private journal. There are no secrets in here my husband can’t see, but it’s the only place I can escape. There’s no laundry in here, no dirty sinks, no kids begging me to take them somewhere and no husband’s socks to find.
Is it selfish of me to want my laptop all to myself, even when I’m not there to use it? I’m sure there’s a booming “Yes” coming from the heavens at this moment. Or my mother will send an email to that effect shortly. Do I care? Oh, I know I should, but it’s going to take a heavy sedative for the hair on the back of my neck not to stand up when someone, anyone – even the man I married for better or worse – is touching my precious laptop. (unintentional reference to Lord of the Rings…uh oh…) I think I have some soul searching to do.