Dear Old Printer,
I am crying as I unplug you for the last time. Admittedly, it’s been a rough day for other reasons, so I’m not attributing this outpouring of emotion completely to you, but I am very sad.
You’ve been with me since the winter of 2005. Uncomplaining, quiet, competent. Sure, there were times when you didn’t understand that a printing job had been terminated, and kept going printing twenty copies of a story that had my name misspelled. You never fussed, rarely jammed, and occasionally printed hundreds of pages at a time, until I thought something must be on fire, from the smell. There was that unfortunate period of time when you wouldn’t collate, no matter what I tried, until I replaced your ink cartridge and the concept suddenly came through.
In the fall of 2006, you went to college with me, and lived in various corners of my dorm room desk. In the summer of 2007, you came to live in a tiny apartment with two student writers, and your workload doubled. Nary a cough.
In 2008, I changed over to a Mac, and felt a shock of panic when you wouldn’t automatically work. You were pretty much the only model of HP LaserJet that didn’t have a built-in driver in OS X. I always knew you were special, but I didn’t realize how annoying your uniqueness would prove to be. Some judicious Googling led me to a driver someone on the internet cooked up, and you soldiered on.
But, in the first month of 2010, I upgraded to Snow Leopard. You didn’t work. I experienced the same shock when you and my computer refused to talk to each other. I went back to my Googling, but the fix was gone. Worse, people on tech forums were saying that the only way to make your special printer self work was a much more complicated, and often unreliable fix. There was nothing for it, my printer friend. It was time to say good-bye.
You made me feel official as a writer. I was so proud to have you, my cheap little laserjet. Your spiritual (and functional) successor will continue on, but a woman remembers her first printer.
Dear New Printer,
I’d say you have big shoes to fill, but as long as you plug in and work, I’m happy. We’ll go from there. (Pretty much all Old Printer had going for it, too.)