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Laura on Life

Stuck In The Buffer
By Laura Snyder
Feb 21, 2012 - 6:07:19 AM

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The thing about technology is that either you love it and are interested in learning more about it, or you have to pay someone who is.

My husband, thank goodness is the former, and if I wasn't married to him, I would be the latter.

I still have to pay for his help with my patience. He is exasperated every time I ask for help. I'm pretty sure this is because I can't always explain what is wrong in his language.

"Honey, my printer is constipated. There are three things in the buffer and nothing is coming through."

I can hear him grumbling as he sits down at my desk.

"What did you say?" I ask.

"I said your printer is a pain in my buffer!"


It's not as if I did anything different to make it not work. I didn't spill anything on it or drop it down a flight of stairs. It just stopped working.

He always asks, "Did you turn it off and then back on?"

After twenty years of hearing this question, I have learned to do just that before I even mention the problem to him. I'm not stupid. My computer is.

"Yes, of course, I did," I'll say.

I still don't understand why this is necessary, though. There is nothing else in my house that simply decides to randomly stop running. I never have to unplug my refrigerator and then plug it back in to keep it running. Imagine if every electrical device in my house had to be turned off and on two or three times a week. That would be a full-time job!

He asks me, "There are three things to be printed, right? Do you remember what they are?"

"Yes. They are all the same thing."

"Oh," he scoffed, "You're one of THOSE people."

Okay, now he was getting on my last nerve. "What? You'd prefer that I try something only once and if it didn't work, I coming running to you?"

I would be the first one to admit that the problem could be due to the computer's hatred for me. Its digital animosity toward me would, of course, make it necessary for me to give it instructions three times before it would comply.

I have children. I'm used to giving my instructions three times.

Apparently, the one thing I didn't do more than once was turn it off and on. My husband gave me a doubtful look after he did just that and the printer finally decided to do its job. I was nonplussed.

"Hah!" he crowed. "I'm so amazing!" He walked away grinning.

"Amazing, my buffer," I grumbled. "You're just lucky my printer likes you."

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at Or visit her website for more info.

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