I didn’t really want to go to the Genius Bar. Not that there’s anything wrong with geniuses. Technically, I am one. I know this because they made me take a test in second grade. Naturally, I won’t retest. That would just be stupid. My IQ can only go down, and most likely probably has. I’d rather walk around with a superiority complex than find out I’ve been reduced to the “far below average” category where I so richly belong–if they tested for common sense in there, I’d need a category lower still.

For this reason, I need a genius to help me fix my computer. I try to do it myself by Googling and getting deep into the Mac forums, but sometimes I need someone to walk me through it like I’m five. Of course, when I was five, none of this would have been invented. The the local genius would’ve handed me a pencil, troubleshot it by putting it in the sharpener, and walked away.

My computer’s slow and freezing. I have the Cadillac of iMacs in addition to the laptop, but I also have a six-year old who’d commandeered it for Netflix. I kicked him off in favor of work. It took me an hour the other day to clean the screen.

“Buddy,” I said, “Remember, this one isn’t a touch screen like the iPod or Kindle.” That’s me pretending to be tech support.

“And the iPhone?” he said. He knows his devices.

“Yes, like the iPhone. This one you don’t touch. It took Mommy a really long time to clean it so we can see.” He looked at me and blinked two times.

“I didn’t touch it with my finger,” he said, “I touched it with my wax. And put gum on it.” Some kid at school gave him a ball of wax constructed from mini-cheeses. I’d like them to find a better use for it than coloring my iMac display.

We can’t share computers forever. The only thing to do is to go to the Genius Bar, where real geniuses reside. Except it’s Christmas shopping season. The fear of God strikes me down. Not that I’ll be tempted to buy, but it’s crazy in there. Everyone in the world needs an iPad Mini NOW. I’m scared. I take a deep breath and start to make my appointment.

But when I look, there is another option. I can chat with a genius now and avoid all that.

I spoke with Adela the Awesome. She didn’t make me feel like the idiot I probably am. Even when she made me empty the trash to the tune of 33K items, she waited with me, like I was actually intelligent. I was taking notes. I want to be smart like Adela one day. I promise myself I’ll empty the garbage more in the future. And clean out caches. And do whatever I did to reset the PRAM which involved using twenty fingers and a combination of key pressing that only a gamer or six-year old could actually do. Adela made me feel competent as I tried six times to get it right.

I think, in fact, this whole thing was another IQ test disguised, so that I can actually see how much I’ve declined. I’m waiting for Apple to email me or post my score. But as long as laptop works, I’m okay with the fact that the world is smarter than me. That means there’s someone to lift me up when I need it.

And I didn’t have to go to the mall during Christmas.

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