Three dozen.

In 2009, after having spent my teens exclusively on desktop PCs, I bought my first laptop.

I am typing on this very laptop right now: its successor is on the way to the ASUS HQ for repairs. The screen was flickering at random. I learned to live with the flickering somewhat but figured I needed to send it back before its one-year warranty expired.

I made this photo my desktop wallpaper before packing it up:

A random old white man with a big grin sits on a large rocking llama.
Rock my llama, papa.

Ten years before this first laptop came into my life, I had to wait for pictures to load one row of pixels at a time. ICQ was 4MB and took 20 minutes to download. Also, before I could even download anything, I had to connect to a dial-up modem! Somehow, 16-year-old me could tolerate this.

Now that my original laptop is currently searing my lap, I’ve realized just how spoiled for efficiency I’ve become. I have, in turn, become less efficient myself. Much like with this frustratingly slow old laptop, I get impatient when my brain is unable to process information fast enough. When this happens, I find myself consuming social media like it’s junk food for the brain. The payoff? I get absolutely nothing done. If I have to do it slowly, I may as well not do it at all!

Perhaps the days of 28.8kbps dial-up modems and flip phones weren’t so bad?

My 36th birthday is in two weeks from now. When I saw that Dad had bought a sauna on a whim, my first thought was, “midlife crisis”. Then, I was like, “Wait a minute… I’ve nearly reached midlife myself.” I don’t have the same amount of money to throw around as Dad does, but before my work hours took a nosedive, I put in a deposit for my next bike! I’m getting what I wanted as a preteen: a Horse.

I’m not about to forfeit my deposit, but without the hours at work, my Horse may be without wheels for a while. This would be a crisis within my midlife crisis.

Financial dreads aside, I had a moment at the donut shop today. I was fourth in line: behind the guy who was being served and a mother and son team of donut enthusiasts. They had time to decide what they wanted, yet when it was their turn, they were still hemming and hawing.

There were only about five choices, plus donut hole-versions of the same five choices. Isn’t there an app that decides what to order for you?

When it comes to line-ups, my patience is reasonably good as I have empathy for the person working behind the counter. My cravings aren’t that urgent: if I must wait an extra two minutes for my apple fritter, so be it!

The donut lady stood behind the counter with an empty box in one hand and tongs in the other, waiting for the mother and son team to overcome their indecisiveness. As soon as they leaned in to get a closer look through the display case, Donut Lady glanced over to me and did a melodramatic eye roll.

SHE SHARED HER EYE ROLL WITH ME, A STRANGER!

She must’ve known just by looking at me, that I was a fellow disillusioned wage slave! The $10 bill I was holding in my hand likely signaled to her that I wasn’t going to put her through the same shit. My reward was to be served ahead of the faltering duo, who are probably still in front of that display case, now staring at day-old donuts.

My apple fritter was subpar, but sharing that special moment with donut lady made my day.

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