february 1998
s m u g
net worth
by Kathleen Chiavetta


That Bitch, The Internet

When I learned that my current boyfriend was a Webmaster - which I soon discovered meant he basically spent a lot of time on the Web - my first thoughts revolved around the potential. He was a smart guy, with a reliable job and dreamed the impossible dream - a twenty-something that didn't still sleep on his mother's couch while she cooked for him and washed his shorts. Little did I know, this "Internet" he spoke so smartly of would come to manifest itself into a raving, jealous she-beast commanding most of his attention, and smirking at me, the fending-for-herself girlfriend, behind his back. It came as a surprise when, less than a year later, I was plotting to break his computer, banish Bill Gates from the country, and halt the advancement of technology in order to get some special alone time with said "catch."

It started when I realized he worked extremely insane hours: late at night, on the weekends. I quickly learned that this was apropos for people in the hip, up-and-coming world of web-based media, and forgave him when he didn't call. This was all acceptable; we lived in two different cities, 400 miles away from each other. He stayed at work so long because he had no one to come home to. I never gave a second thought to the possibility that anyone or anything else could be occupying his attentions.

Later he started e-mailing me these 'funny' little clips from articles much like this one, on computer freaks, cyber geeks, and everything in between--people who couldn’t be torn away from their machines for days on end--and we'd laugh at the similarities. Then slowly my giggles and guffaws turned to halting nervous laughter, wondering if this man hadn't indeed been the very model for these articles.

His job rules his life, definitely if or when any eating or sleeping will occur. He is lucky enough to have coincidentally picked an apartment mere steps away from Microsoft's NYC HQ. He can see the building on the way to the train, the diner, the market, and it's right next to the movies. His eyes glaze over as he stares up at it, and occasionally he drools or knocks down old ladies and small children by not watching where he's going.

Computers also tend to rule his use of language. He can relate anything to them and can even use little words like "hard drive" in normal, everyday conversation (usually referring to any body part involved in sexual activity, or the sex drive itself). He and his friends make robot noises and repeat the word download when they’re playing on the Net or taking in and processing any sort of information. I’m surrounded by little words like Byte, Software, and Interactive, that are plastered all over the covers of his magazines. When we have sex, it's called "Naked Time", which you will notice conveniently shortens to "NT," as in Windows. It scares me more than it scares you.

He finds the whole thing fascinating, some sick science project. A girl of mere soft flesh and bone has difficulty competing with an intricate machine comprised of gaggles of complex circuitry, lightning speed, and the inability to groan "Not again - will you go to sleep already? I'm exhausted!" This computer obeys his every command and depends upon *his* guidance to operate - he has to tell it what to do. He's sick with the power. I don't have to tell you he'll never get to play that game with this girl, believe you me.

He has become too dependent on his computer. Information is so easily accessible (and apparently a lot more fun to get) through a few clicks of the mouse, that his brain forgets how to "access" itself. The only way I can even attempt to get him to remember anything (birthday, flight arrival time, major surgery) is to e-mail it to him. Even then it has to be concise and to the point or he won't even read the whole thing, much less let it register in the database that his brain has become.

At first, I thought it sick using the source of my frustrations to communicate with him, relying on e-mail like some virtual electronic whore to dole out and take credit for what I thoughtfully put together. I’ve since realized that I'm the smart one, using this medium to help me, instead of letting it work against me. I limit my e-mails so that each one stands out from the hundreds of others he receives each day. And if I really want to speak to him personally, I just send him an e-mail loaded with sexual innuendo and he calls that night. With a little practice, I might even be able to craft a six word Pavlovian message that inexplicably causes him to show up on my doorstep with flowers, Chinese food, and that half-gallon of milk I've been meaning to pick up from the store.

Now you may be asking, "Hey Kath. If this guy's such an ass pain, why do you stay with him?" Well kids, I've asked myself that same question, and my initial response was "Beats me," but even though tech-obsessives like my boy's are easily absorbed in their own world, you can learn a thing or two from them when they remember to communicate out loud. It's also sweet that when they bubble about their technological accomplishments, they can't wait to bubble about them with the one person they haven't alienated. Plus they’re really good at fixing stuff.

For now I'll just have to cope with the fact that my boyfriend gets paid an obscene amount of money to play games all day and then to buckle down at 10pm when his playmates start to go home to their families/girlfriends/pets. Eventually one of several things will happen. We may even reach a balance between woman and machine. I will stop seeing the Internet as "the other woman," and he'll start seeing me as one, and the computer (or "it" as I affectionately refer to the bitch) as just a tool. Or David may end up a lonely, lonely old man with just his computer and lots and lots of money to keep him company.

If I play my cards right and don't end up in a maximum security prison, I'll get lucky, the Internet will crash, and we can finally spend that week of quality time in Tahiti he's been promising.



back to the junk drawer

and such
and such

·feature· ·net worth· ·bumping uglies· ·smoking jacket· ·ear candy· ·feed hollywood· ·target audience· ·three dollar bill· ·compulsion· ·posedown· ·the biswick files· ·mystery date· ·and such and such· ·blab· ·kissing booth·

·contents· ·freakshow· ·fan club· ·junk drawer·

copyright © 1996, 1997 fearless media