We would not be conversing at all today, dear readers, were it not for the humble wireless mouse. The trackpad on my Mac laptop suffered an inexplicable and sudden nervous breakdown yesterday afternoon, whether through a software conflict (I had just cried “Uncle!” in the face of OS High Sierra’s incessant reminders that I install updates) or hardware exhaustion (my MacBook pro is six years old and well-loved), I cannot say. But the curser decided either to skitter around my desktop willy-nilly, like kids playing tag, or to disappear from the desktop entirely. Either way, the trackpad flatly refused to respond.
You know what this means, right? A trip down the black hole of tech support. Online chats and discussion forums directed me to restart in safe boot, in recovery mode, to reset something called PRAM, which has nothing to do with British babies. All to no avail. Aubrianna was the name of the virtual assistant who chatted with me online late last night, coaching me through an SMC reset. This achieved precisely nothing. She said she wouldn’t leave me without making sure her proposed solution worked for me, but the girl was COLD. She was on to the next complainant before the beachball even began spinning on my desktop. My Apple case number lead only to an error message. It used to be a matter of a click or two to book an appointment at the nearby Genius bar, but now you have to claw through about seven screens to get to the list of available times. It’s like the obstacle course at bootcamp; one false move and you’re off the wall and down in the mud. The earliest appointment I could find is Thursday at 5:00 p.m., which when you are a writer, designer and web solutions consultant, is basically as a good as “never.”
Thankfully, for just $12.99 and a ten-minute drive to my local Staples, I was able to pick up this adorable little pink wireless mouse gizmo. It’s been years since I’ve used a mouse. We have a picture of Mia at age three sitting by the old desktop tower, holding the cabled mouse up to her ear as if it were a phone. That mouse was replaced by a snappy-looking red wireless version, but this was years ago, and with all our de-cluttering over the past few days, we couldn’t find it anywhere. Reacquainting myself with mouse technique was a little irritating at first. I kept swiping two fingers around the trackpad, looking in vain for the cursor, or wondering why the screen wouldn’t scroll. But it’s like riding a bike, the muscle memory comes right back. Using a mouse is like driving a little sports car. No more slouching in overstuffed, upholstered chairs while I write, or fanning myself outside on the patio. Until I meet my Genius, I am writing properly, at the kitchen desk, back straight and feet on the floor. It feels very businesslike. I like it.
Everything old is new again.