Sometimes the day-to-day responsibilities of being a housewife/ stay-at-home-mom/domestic goddess can get even the best of us down, especially when faced with a list of tasks that seem equally mundane.

That’s when you have to decide which is more important, cleaning the sink in the kids’ bathroom or going to the commissary. I was recently faced with that decision only to discover that my computer was screwed up.

It was a Friday morning, which made my decision easy. Time was ticking until the computer geeks in the area called it a day and didn’t report back in until Monday.

I could not begin to imagine being disconnected for two whole days. It could drive me to do something desperate, such as getting a library card so I could use one of the computers there.

I managed to find the business card of my very favorite computer geek, who took care of the problem so quickly I was able to beat afternoon rush hour at the commissary.

The bathrooms could wait until Saturday.

Every time I have computer problems, I realize that my family has become more dependent upon the Internet than the last time I couldn’t “connect.” I’m not complaining, as it eliminates many errands and telephone calls that took up the time of my peers 30 years ago.

All those times my mother had to “run to the bank” when I was a kid, she could have been taking care of her banking needs online. I can only imagine how much telephone time moms everywhere are saving now that so much information is at our fingertips.

For the couple of hours I couldn’t get online, I was unable to find a telephone number I needed and couldn’t track an order on UPS. Doing so over the telephone would involve listening to a recording, waiting, pressing a number and repeating the process a half dozen times.

It’s so degrading to have a phone stuck to my ear while being forced to endure bad music. I feel much more comfortable tap-tap-tapping away at my computer while rocking out to my own selection of tunes.

Before the computer guy arrived, I decided to look up something in the yellow pages. That’s how I discovered that many businesses list a Web site address, not even bothering to print a telephone number anymore.

I shut the yellow pages book in frustration and did my best to wait patiently. He arrived quickly and worked his magic while I stared in amazement.

“I’m a writer, so I have to have a working computer,” I reminded myself when I paid the fee for a service call.

At any moment, while ordering something from Amazon or looking for directions on Mapquest, I could be suddenly inspired to start that best-selling novel I’ve been meaning to write. How could I possibly do that with a screwed-up computer?

Now that I’m back online and all is right with the world again, I might consider working on that book. But first I need to make lunch and fold some clothes that are sitting in the dryer.

These tasks aren’t really work; it’s just what us housewives do for fun.

Thank goodness, we have a handy little thing called the Internet to make our jobs easier.

A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has moved eight times in 16 years of marriage to her Marine Corps husband. They have been stationed in various locations, including Okinawa, California, Texas and their current home in Springfield, Va. E-mail her at or find the Zichs online at

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