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5 July 2002 (Friday): standards and protocols

My parents got into a shouting match this afternoon, over troubleshooting the installation of their broadband connection. As they took verbal jabs at one another and grrr'd and fumed and so on, I walked carefully around them, connecting various cables and bringing up the TCP/IP config windows on various monitors. The yelling went on, and finally I looked up from the desk and said, "With all due respect, could you take the discussion somewhere else?" They blinked at me, but promptly moved to a room down the hall and shut the door. I got Internet access working on both laptops and my brother's Windows ME machine, but no luck on the old PowerMac, which was where we actually wanted it. I turned the machine around and looked for the NIC's green LED: bingo. Dead Ethernet card. No wonder.

Shortly afterward Mom and Dad emerged, fully reconciled. Temporary communication failure. Troubleshoot, reboot, hope for the best, smile when things come up smoothly. They've got kids to do the technical computer stuff; the more important project is their own relationship. And they work through those challenges better than anyone else I know.

I've been thinking a lot lately -- maybe more than is healthy -- about the man I'll choose to be with me for the rest of my life, what factors will determine the success and longevity of our time together. It seems to me that all it requires, ultimately, is a tacit understanding of what togetherness means. I think I know, and I think I can honor it when the time comes. But no one ever knows what lies ahead; certainly my parents didn't. But they had a hunch, a conviction, and with that conviction came the kind of faith that's seen them through all these years. There was also a lot of luck involved, I'm sure, but luck can't have been all of it.

Fourth-of-July weekend is a very bad time to go to an electronics store in search of an Ethernet card.

posted by enjelani @ 04:44 PM PST

Replies: 1 comment

Honest communication. That and the decision to love each other.

Your dad seemed so level-headed and open to the ideas of others, I'd think he (and your mom) would be wonderful relationship role models.

posted by Moonpuddle @ 06 07 2002 12:11 AM PST