Keeping your cool

Hothead: (noun) a person who is impetuous or who easily becomes heated and angry. Yesterday the kids and I went for a walk to the park and in an effort for health and well-being, I decided we would take the long route. As soon as we hit the fork in the path and I turned right instead of our usual left, they both stopped and stood there dumbfounded. “Um, you’re going the wrong way Mom!” Sophie said with blatant unease.

Hothead: (noun) a person who is impetuous or who easily becomes heated and angry.

Yesterday the kids and I went for a walk to the park and in an effort for health and well-being, I decided we would take the long route.

As soon as we hit the fork in the path and I turned right instead of our usual left, they both stopped and stood there dumbfounded. “Um, you’re going the wrong way Mom!” Sophie said with blatant unease.

I explained that I wanted to take the long way so we could get some exercise.

What followed could have been a scene straight from the apocalypse itself.

There were devastating screams and horrendous moaning. There was “But why?!” and “No no no!” and even, “This can’t be happening!”

It was a sad ordeal, to say the least. And it made me wonder where they both get this hotheadedness from.

Surely it couldn’t be me. Could it?

A few months ago, we decided to switch Internet/cable providers. There were some great deals going on with our current provider’s rival so we took the opportunity and jumped ship. Everything was going great. The kids were happy with the new channels they got and I was pleased to have my beloved HBO back. Jamie was the only one who was perturbed because his faithful hardwired Internet connection had to be switched over to Wi-Fi, which he claimed made the Internet slower. I told him to stop being such a geezer and get with the times.

A few days later ,I received a letter from our previous provider stating that we still had rental equipment of theirs, including but not limited to their Internet modem. It took me the better half of an afternoon to locate all of the random pieces that were listed as not ours. It was the modem that I found last.

Admittedly, I am rather dim-witted when it comes to electronics of any kind. That’s why we keep Jamie’s brother Dan around — he’s our go-to guy when it comes to technology in general (and we consider the four-slot toaster tech savvy).

Unfortunately, at the time Dan was nowhere to be found. So there I was idiotically gawking at the hookups for the Wi-Fi and modem. I located the old modem but it hadn’t been sloppily tossed in an old box like the other items I had retrieved. It was sitting beside an unidentified device that had the new service provider’s name on it. The old modem’s lights were still flashing and it looked completely operational.

I tell you what — any rational person probably would have investigated this a little more. But not I, friends, not I. I got the new service providers on the blower and before they could ask me for my account number, I set forth on my tirade.

“Did you people use my old provider’s Internet modem to hook up your service? This is blasphemy! That is rented equipment and I need to return it! What do you expect me to do after I give it back? How will I get online? How will I access the Internet without a modem?”

These were the actual words coming out of my mouth.

“You had better get over here and hook it up properly because this is entirely on you!”

I had only paused to catch my breath when the unfortunate customer service person who had picked up my call began trying to de-escalate the situation.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry you are having issues with this, but I assure you that it would be quite impossible for us to use your old service provider’s modem for our own use.”

“Well it’s hooked up, the lights are flashing! What do you say about that?”

I went on for quite some time repeating much of the same argument because I couldn’t find any other points to quarrel with in my state of blind rage.

“Ma’am, why don’t you just try to unplug the old modem and see if your service is still working?”

I did just that, thinking all the while that this was such a waste of my time.

I looked at the Google bar on my computer. I looked at the unplugged modem. It finally occurred to me that perhaps the old modem had only been plugged into the wall.

Silence and mortification followed as I quickly said, “Thank you, that’ll be all” and hung the phone up.

I looked over to Jamie, who was now hysterically laughing at my obvious faux pas.

“Who’s the geezer now?” he said between snorts.

Moral of this story: teach the kids that hotheadedness never pays.

Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.

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