In my younger, less enlightened years, I was one of those people who would shun the pocket protector, pimply type young man as one not worthy of my free-spirited, braless and pantiless existence. They all seemed so serious about their passion, whether it be chemistry or computers. They liked to go on study dates, then out for ice cream. Dull stuff for a young hippie chick looking for excitement.
As time went on, those pimply, passionate, pocket-protector type of guys became more attractive to me. Especially the ones who used a Mac. Looks became unimportant. What stirred my soul was the hardware. My fantasy conversation in the chat room was “What operating system are you using? Oh, OS 8.5 on a G3 maxed out with RAM? Oh show it to me, baby!” My knees would weaken with passion; my fingers shake, unable to converse. If only I could be with them, to stroke their keyboard, Command C! Now! Now! I began to understand the subtle pleasure of the word “faster.”
I adventured into the world of on-line dating. My friends warned me about axe murderers and all the other horrid urban myths that surround that group of people who don’t care for singles mixers and the bar scene; those posters of on-line ads. At first I just perused the ads, but didn’t come up with too many that interested me. Of those who did, I would send a polite note asking “what operating system do you use?” The PeeCee guys were out there in droves. And, they had the nerve to brag about their weak little systems! If you have to search for Drive “A” to get your floppy going, well… The Web-TV guys were the worst. They didn’t even care enough to own a computer. It was a big “thanks but no-thanks” to those who depended on appliances rather than the real thing. The ones who said “what’s an operating system?” didn’t even get the courtesy of a reply. I found no Mac guys. So I wrote my own ad, which ended with the sentence “Mac users only.”
There were some who were bold enough to respond “I’m not a Mac user but I’d like to meet you anyway.” I tried a few of them, but the excitement wasn’t there. All they seemed to be interested in was dinner dates, dancing, and the distance between my legs. But I wasn’t interested in a man with flimsy hardware whose operating system crashed all the time. I wanted a bold man, a thinking man, the type of man who could turn an old SE into a network server with a little innovation and lots of moxie. I wanted a Mac man. But why?
What is it about a Mac man that makes him so attractive? Perhaps I had set my standards too high. I decided to go to MacWorld, where all the Mac men go. And there I found the answer to my question. Mac men treat their women like they treat their computers; with love, honor, adoration, passion and respect. The ones who were there without their wives would call them on the phone, or speak of them lovingly. The ones who were there with their wives shared their passion and excitement with them. And the women, the beautiful Mac women who were there with their Mac men, were bright and joyous women. Bold women. Passionate women. I observed one couple standing under a streetlight in the misty San Francisco rain. They were facing, fingers lightly clasped as they gazed into one another’s eyes with a slight smile playing on the lips. Love, honor, adoration, passion and respect. The Mac way.
I didn’t realize when I was at MacWorld that I already had my Mac man. A correspondence had begun between us, from a story published at My Mac Magazine in November of 1999. The correspondence began on November 2 of that year, to be exact. The story was about my computer at that time, an old 7200/75 that I had named “Mooo”. The email was simple. One sentence. “Do you exchange Moo’s with people to whom you have not been formally introduced?” Enigmatic enough to peak my curiosity to write back, and it was begun. That which was foretold. The journey to my own Mac man.
Oh, there were obstacles, one of which was that he lived 6,000 miles away from me, in England. But, being a Mac woman who knew the value of a good Mac man, I didn’t let such a little thing as distance deter me. After all, this is the age of the internet. The World Wide Web. He was never more than a phone line away. We wrote, and wrote, and wrote to one another, long passionate emails full of hopes, wishes, laughter, crying and dreams. We graduated to Instant Messaging, then to telephone calls. Then it wasn’t enough. We had to meet.
The naysayers warned me. They questioned me. They even prayed for me. But I got on the plane anyhow and flew to Scotland, to meet my Mac man. He booked a two bedroom self-catering cottage for us at Loch Lomond. Our agreement was that if one or the other of us didn’t smell right to the other, we’d just have a lovely vacation together, and be merrily on our mutual way. He even had the courtesy to write to my father and assure him that his intentions toward me were honorable in every way. Honor, one of the qualities of a true Mac man. I didn’t have to see his hardware to know, it was apparent from the moment we met.
We married two days after we met at the airport in Glasgow, on November 2, 2000. This man didn’t haul me off to a preacher, though. No, this is a Mac man. He married me in Hell’s Glen overlooking Loch Fyne on that star-filled frosty night. We climbed a stile, then jumped over a broom into a heart shaped formation of quartz rocks where we took turns pissing into a bucket. He then turned the bucket over the ground, looked me in the eye and said “anyone or anything that can separate our piss can separate us.” After that he burned the broom. Then we kissed, and climbed back over the stile. On the way back to the cottage he stopped at a take out for fish and chips, for our wedding supper. There were no photographers, no witnesses other than God and the stars. My wedding ring is a silver “fede” ring, handcrafted in the borders area. Only a Mac man would plan a wedding like that.
I came back to America, and it took a while to get everything straightened out so we could network our hardware, but he’s here now. My Mac Man. He’s a software slut. I’m a hardware whore. It’s a match made in heaven. He tells me that I’m very, very beautiful. Prettier than a maxed out G4 with a cinema display. I think he’s pretty special, too. His software skills are without parallel.
Bonnie Raitt once recorded a song. The chorus lyrics were “women be wise, keep your mouth shut, don’t advertise your man.” Obviously she wasn’t talking about a Mac Man. They treat their women like they treat their hardware: with love; honor; adoration; passion and respect. And I finally got one.
This column is tribute to the following Mac Men and their Women and Kids, for keeping my hopes alive; Mikie, John, Del, Jeff, Tim, Russ, John, Clint, Dave, Jim, Eduard, Paul, Bruce, Tony, Eolake, Roger, Rodney, Robin and Bill. And to Ian, My Mac Man, for making my dreams come true.
Stay tuned for further adventures of Ian and Beth. This is just the beginning, and the possibilities, as they say, are endless.