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Lanie's Articles  |   Essays From M.H Borden

When it's time for an upgrade

Take my iphone. No, no, no, no--I was only kidding.

My life with my iphone, though, is certainly a metaphor for most relationship woes and there has been many a day I have been willing to give it away to the lowest bidder. It started out with the passion and lust requisite for a relationship disaster--I couldn't be without it. It was the first thing I needed to greet in the morning and the last thing I embraced at night. My husband was jealous--until he got his own.

And then, slowly, the troubles started. The betrayal was insidious--the glitches crept up on me and yet, never fear, I stayed true. I tried the computer therapist fixer-uppers but though everyone could see the problem, no one knew how to fix it or who else I should turn to. I refused to give up. I lay on the couch wailing out my problems to every such •therapist• who would listen. The emails came in sporadically; the screen turned white and then froze.

I read self-help books and Google advice. I tried outfoxing it and cajoling it and pressing buttons with no particular rhyme or reason. But it was immune to my pleas and had a mine of its own. Desperate, bereft, I watched my life dribbling away as I held time and again on the phone, praying for the technician who would finally solve the problem.

And then, like those frogs who drown as the water temperature is increased and don•t have the sense to jump out, I became desensitized. I got used to it. That was just the way it was. Nothing is perfect after all. Never mind that the only reason I really needed it was so I could send work-emails no matter where I was (and believe me I don•t think there is a place I haven•t sent them from), I still put up with it.

It was reliable in its own miserable way. I still remained hopeful. Maybe it would see the light and change on its own.

A few months went by, my anger repressed, until one fine day my little pal just stopped working all together. Calamity. I was hit over the head by the proverbial brick.

Now I had no choice. Like most of us change comes hard and usually only when we are up against the wall. While sporadic emails had been barely tolerable, no emails at all was clearly unacceptable.

There is a happy ending•I did find that guru (a petite 20-something-year-old) who figured out the problem (a glitch on my mother-ship computer). It was time for an up-grade. Happily, my new i- phone works well. I vowed never ever again to get desensitized to things like this.

Anyone who has had any relationship that didn't work out - is there anyone out there?---will understand my metaphor without any explanation.

One of my clients, in fact, phrased it perfectly. If I date someone once, then I will date him for three years.

Addiction, infidelity, abuse? Dishonesty? Laziness? Can•t stand my children? Well, he does have his pluses. He brings me my favorite chocolate. He makes me laugh. I really can•t imagine dating again and with a little luck he will self-correct before the three year warranty is up.

There is a price, alas, for crazy loyalty. Hours on the couch wailing take their toll.

Advice from your friendly matchmaker? If there is a character defect or major unredeemable glitch: Do as I did and upgrade. And I'm not talking about clothes on the floor or burping or even depression. I'm talking about flaws that no pill and no therapist can fix.

Or try flying solo for a while and go back to pen and pencil.

Time to go and say goodnight to my sweet i-phone. And answer the emails of all those folks who are looking for advice from their not so petite and definitely not 20-year- old matchmaker.

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