Friday, May 21, 2010


by Rosalie Brinn

There is nothing like one working computer and three people who need to use it right now to bring a family to the same place at the same time -- at melting point. In addition, please include one person, my husband Louis, who took five years to learn how to use the VCR, but who continually gets what he calls "messages" re real estate deals and possible employment on e-mail and periodically, demands to know if the President wants him to come to Washington to solve everything.

Has anyone wondered why Lady Alyse (my heroine) took so long to get down from that damned tree? It goes something like this:

"Why does he have to go into my room?"
"Because his computer is done and he has e-mails coming in from work."
"Why can't he go to the library?"
"Why can't he use your computer?"

This of course is a stupid redundant question. Older brother and younger sister have taken up the cudgels dropped since first daughter left for good and even had the last of her debris dropped off at her apt.

I offer, "It is my internet service," adding the explanation, "because I pay for it."

Nobody pays any attention. They know that anything paid for by hapless parents is theirs, as is anything they pay for is theirs.

The play continues.

"He leaves his soda cans and pens up there.”

“He doesn't push back the chair and he smells."

I wonder why they are acting like the sum of their digits with the internal reply, Why not?

I then take what for me is action. I buy another laptop and announce that it belongs to ME. No one else will be allowed to use it.

Actually no one uses it because it stays in its box. Yet the sight of the computer in its box brings peace for a while. This wears off and I proceed to the next step. Elder brother is cajoled to take it out of the box and open it. He does and says it is a fine computer. He looks longingly at it, but I ignore him. The computer stays out of the box but is not used but stays a mute reminder of what potential it contains.

Life moves on and elder brother's computer crashes for the last time. The laptop disappears and is anxiously searched for.

I have been cleaning up the house and that means things go where lost socks retire to. Rumors are generated that elder brother has purloined or it’s been borrowed by younger sister. This proves to be true and is retrieved.

I up the ante by announcing that not only am I purchasing a printer for the laptop, but also an internet service that will never go down. I will get an iPhone, a blackberry and be connected all over the place and I will never share. I might even yank the internet service on the disputed laptop in younger sister’s room, and they will have to beg on hands and knees for usage privileges if they can't get to the library.

Lady Alyse will be joined by its sequel. I will neglect everyone; indeed I will never see anyone because I will be writing twelve hours a day. Two or three books a year will be produced and published. I will be draped in diamonds like Danielle Steele, and own a penthouse in New York and a summer home in the Hudson River Valley.

Everyone stops dead in their tracks. It is then that I realize the truth. The computer is the only thing that connects us as a family. My husband inquiries about his e-mails always end in a walk and a snack. The two feuding siblings enact their relationship via their need for the computer with me acting as moderator. If I fulfill Lady Alyse's destiny and then Lady Julia's in two best selling books, movie rights and a TV show -- not to mention doll and Lego (for the castles) peripherals -- then the whole family structure will collapse. And then what will we all do on Mother's Day?♥

***  How I spent Mother's Day: Older brother stayed home in charge of his sister who is still recovering from being run over by a car. Despite their frequent reenactments of famous Biblical siblings, there was a deep rooted affection that emerged so that Louis and I could go to NYC. There we celebrated Oldest Daughter's first Mother's Day with her adorable nine month old baby girl, Pemberley, and her amazing husband. Obviously someone read all those romance novels floating about the house and put them to good advantage when it came to picking out names.  ***

Rosalie Brinn lives in Long Island. She has been in invitationals at Bennington, Barnard, the 92nd Street Y (twice for poetry) and New York University (twice for poetry tutorial). She likes writing poetry because it sharpens her writing skills. Rosalie has been a social worker at a day care center and a management consultant to her husband's practice; she’s played the stock and commodity markets, and has been a principle in commercial real estate deals. Rosalie is a wife, mother of adult children, grandmother and former caretaker of all elderly relatives. She started writing as a child and now considers it her passion and true vocation.


  1. I love your picture, Rosalie! Great hat. And this is a hilarious post, cracked me up!

  2. I agree. Great hat!

    Technology. . . such a blessing. . . such a curse. . .