Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hand-Me-Down Frankenstein

I found these blood pressure machines at Fry's Electronics.  The small town I live in has no stores like this, the warehouses actually are warehouses, not mega-marts.  As I was waiting for my  husband to find the 1001st cable that we have, in isle 256, I started thinking about how this "store" made me feel.  It has been my new trick: think about how I feel.  I know I might be late to the game of processing my life as it happens, but better late than never.

The irony of Fry's carrying blood pressure machines typifies how I was feeling.  This place makes my blood boil with anxiety.  I have a huge margin of anxiety before my heart explodes, as my blood pressure is ridiculously low, so don't worry.  I was wondering why I didn't want my husband to buy me new speakers in my 17 year old car even though they were broken.  The reason is I don't want to go into a shop like this, selling electronics (and Pillow Pets, and thousands of candy bars, and television antenna- do those even work anymore?).  More than not wanting to go in, I don't want to spend any money.

When I met my husband we were children, who could know who we would become, or our earning power.  In college our earning power, if you could call it that, was $9,000 just 10 years ago (thank you state and federal aid).  In college we needed electronic supplies in the form of computer junk.  Standing looking at 12 brands of blood pressure takers, I figured it out!  I hate this place!  I hate it not for itself, but  because when my smart, but young husband wanted to buy stuff for our computer in college it seemed like such a waste.  We didn't have a cushion to buy 2mb of RAM for $100.  I was nervous in those formative years and carry those nerves right into Fry's Electronics in 2010.

What I didn't realize back then, was the time and money that boy spent on electric cables, hard drives, RAM, and more cables was an investment.  We didn't starve, and he usually made hand-me-down frankenstein computers anyway, only needing to buy cables.  Sometimes investments feel scary, risky and make your blood pressure go up.

Today that boy is a software engineer.  The hours he spent with his hands in the guts of a computer is now the very reason I can go to Fry's and afford to buy stereo speakers.  The very thing that made me afraid,  is paying my rent.

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