There’s very little in life more frustrating than having a laptop—a laptop that you depend upon for all of your writing projects and teaching materials and correspondence and various family projects and blog files—develop a habit of losing power and shutting down at random intervals at least 4 or 5 times a day. You’ll be typing away, or dealing with an email when suddenly, your laptop starts beeping at you, whining that it has reached critically low battery level (even though it is plugged in and the battery stopped working years ago). This means you have about 15 seconds to save whatever you’re doing and close everything down and shut your laptop and pray for it to decide that it has reason enough to keep living at least one more day. You’ll decide you feel like you have a two-year-old child in your arms and she doesn’t want to go wherever it is you need to take her and so she’s gone limp, like a 30-pound eel, and it’s all you can do to keep her from oozing out of your grasp and running away from you, and maybe she’s clothed only in a diaper because she refuses to let you put a shirt over her head, and maybe that diaper is even saggingly wet because you’re dreading the battle it will be to change her, and maybe she’s trying to run outside again because she wants to live there—just take her pillow and hot-pink crocs and never step foot inside the house again—but you need to get something done in the kitchen and you don't have the time right now to follow her around the block on her new Little Mermaid bike so when she manages to arch her way out of your clutches onto the floor, you have to race for the door and lock the deadbolt before she gets to it so she can throw her fit on the inside rather than on the outside where she’ll make you chase her into the driveway and maybe into the road where you pray there will be no traffic if you’re too slow. Or something like that.
The only thing I can think of more frustrating than this is moving your cursor across the screen to pull up a picture for a blog post one evening and clicking on the folder that says “My pictures”—the folder that has hundreds of family photos and every single work of art you’ve ever scanned in for your classes—and having your laptop lie to you and say “Folder is empty” when you know there is no possible way on earth that the entire folder and all its sub-folders and sub-sub folders with their massive lists of jpg’s could have been wiped clean with no warning. This must be a lie. A cruel joke that your computer is playing on you to punish you for your loss of faith in its ability to compute or even turn on when you ask nicely. Yeah. This is probably worse.