My old printer gave out four days ago. I found out that in this day and age you don't last long in life without a printer. Our basic human needs are: air, water, food ... and a printer.
So I went down to my friendly neighborhood computer shop, bought myself an HP printer, and carried it home -- with a promise from my friend at the computer store that I could call him if I had any trouble.
I called a total of eight times.
First, the pop-up window didn't show up. Then I got confused about Step 5 in the instructions. After I got my desktop hooked up with a USB cable, I went to connect up my laptop via wi fi. I couldn't fit the disk in; I couldn't identify the right cable to plug in temporarily; and on and on. But I finally did get the damn thing working. I should feel proud of myself. Right? But I don't.
|The beauty ...|
|and the beast|
And when it does grow, I feel an enormous sense of accomplishment. Okay, maybe "enormous" is a bit of an exaggeration, but I joke that I spend about three times as much time admiring my gardening as I do actually doing the work. But so what? It feels good to admire your own work -- but what's to admire about a new printer that's working, just the same way as the old printer was working?
Whereas, when you plant a bush or a tree or some grass, you have something there that didn't exist before. If you grow vegetables, you have something good to eat!
I have a row of bushes on the far side of the driveway that I've planted over the past five years. I admire them every time I back the car out of the garage (although it kills me when B runs into them). I prune the fruit tree in the front lawn -- and admire the trim of the branches, and all the flowers that bloom as a result. I even admire my lawn which, if you don't look too closely, actually looks like grass.
B's son is the exact opposite. Her brother, too. They both love working on a carpentry project, or figuring out electrical connections, or puzzling over a computer problem and coming up with the right answer. They get big smiles on their faces when the cables are all in their proper place, the computer lights up, and the printer starts whirring.
The old joke is that there are two kinds of people in the world -- those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don't. But maybe it's really divided into people who take pleasure in fixing things; and people who like to garden.
Why do I get a sense of accomplishment out of one, not the other? I dunno. You tell me.