I’ve been known to go overboard on decluttering projects. I’m not overly sentimental with things. I’m definitely not a pack rat. I just get so much satisfaction over a clean, organized space that knick knacks and papers get tossed with hardly a thought. Sometimes this results in tears a few days after a good decluttering session when I realize I’d been saving that newspaper clipping for a reason, but mostly I breathe easier when my drawers are cleared of junk.
When Matt looked at the disk space on my laptop and sighed that I really should defrag, but I’d probably need to clear off some stuff first, I nodded and dutifully set to work deleting unused programs. I’m not completely lame with computers. I’m technologically savvy enough to build a simple Access database, code very basic HTML, and find print drivers online when I’ve lost the disk that comes with the printer. And I like using the uninstall button.
There is something so pleasing about hitting uninstall and watching the free space percentage increase. Panda antivirus? That’s from three years ago. Delete! Microsoft Money from 2005? Delete! SoftV90 Data Fax Modem with SmartCP? I don’t even know what that is. Delete!
The next day:
Matt: “You deleted your modem?!?!”
Matt: “Your modem is in the recycling bin. That would be very bad to delete. Don’t do that.”
Brenna: “You mean that fax modem smart thing?”
Matt: “Yes, that’s important. You don’t get to delete anymore.”
Brenna: “It said rarely used! It had the word “fax” in the title. I haven’t used a fax anything since like 1998.”
Matt: “Yes, well, perhaps we should work on deleting programs together.”
Brenna: “I know what I’m doing!”
Matt: “Do you remember those engineers from my work talking about people who know just enough about computers to be dangerous?”
Brenna: “I don’t really see your point.”
So maybe I confuse “solid state” with “steady state,” or “delete my modem,” or “send my computer in for a two hundred dollar repair that could have been fixed with a blast of pressurized air into the clogged fan.” Hmm. Okay, I do kind of see his point. The point is that maybe I’m that guy who is so convinced he can fix his own plumbing that even though it inevitably results in five trips to Home Depot and several extraneous holes in the wall, he still has to attempt the project every time.
In the future, when I feel the need to go head-to-head with a computer engineer over a computer issue, I will instead start spouting off about mid-cap growth funds. And I will hand over the laptop.