Monday, 2 January 2012

Storytelling Sunday - the (slightly disappointing) story of my first computer

Yes, I know it's Monday, but it's a Bank Holiday so it counts as an extra Sunday in my book!! I want to join in with Sian's Storytelling Sunday more often this year. And  if Uncle Dave says every story is worth telling, then that's what I'm going to do. In our house,  the teacher is always right!

P has just bought himself a Blackberry Playbook; an astonishing piece of technology which reminded me of the story of my very first computer. 

It was a Commodore Vic 20 ( not top of the range even then as my parents were not wealthy and it probably cost them much more than I appreciated at the time) and the most impressive thing I could do was program it in Basic to scroll my name diagonally across the screen.

I was 12 or 13  that Christmas so my younger brother, G would have been 8, and 8 year olds in the 1970s did not get given computers for Christmas as a matter of course. (By contrast my 7 year old nephew received a X BOx Kinect this year)

It was meant to be a shared present. But Mum wrote G's name on the tag because I was supposed to be 'old enough to understand'.

I'm ashamed to say I wasn't then, and still am not. Green suede pixie boots, though exactly what I wanted (why?!) did not equal a computer.

'It's not fair' I cried.

'Life's not fair', Mum and Dad replied.

No it isn't, but you're not supposed to find that out at Christmas when you're only 12. It has taken me several decades to conquer my jealousy of my brother (this was not the only example of what I perceived as unfair treatment) but I do try to remember how I felt when I opened those boots as a reminder to myself to treat my children fairly.

I don't think treating them fairly means necessarily treating them the same. There are 5 years between my R and M and they are very different people, but I would be horrified if either of them thought I loved them more or less.

This story does not paint  me in a particularly good light, but it's true, and it's part of what I want to do with my blog in 2012. No less crafty prettiness, but a bit more honest everyday life as well. If you don't want  to read about that, please comment and let me know because, as Sian's Uncle Dave also said "a story doesn’t become a real story until someone hears it or reads it".


Jo.C said...

I think this is the story of a lot of siblings - I know my I experienced these feelings often and took a long time to get over them - though if I'm honest I probably haven't. Made me smile and pixie boots were all the rage - though not sure about the green :0)
Happy new year

Anonymous said...

I understand exactly how you felt as being the oldest of 3 and the only gilr I often felt my brothers were treated better than I was, not sure how true that actually was though. I am impressed at your ability to programme at such a young age, even if it was only your name. Thank you for sharing your story.

Sian said...

My pixie boots were grey suede :)

I love to hear stories of everyday life, honestly told - we can all relate in some way or another and that's when a story becomes really powerful. So thank you for sharing this one today - it really took me back!

A Happy New Year to you all

furrypig said...

I love shared honest tales Kirsty so enjoyed reading this one. I was jealous of my sister not because she was treated differently but because she was different, blonde, blue eyed and gorgeous. It took years for me to get over it and I never had my photo taken and as growns ups we discovered we had been jealous of each other over things that were naturally occurring so could not be changed! We are good friends now thank goodness Happy New Year xxx

Becky said...

Lovely to read an honest tale. I still suffer jealousy pangs with my sister even though we are both now adults - I think it is something that is very difficult to grow out of. I agree with you though about treating your children fairly and I have strived to do this - they are both now grown up, but we still treat them equally. Would love to read honest 'bits' on your blog as well as see craftiness! Looking forward to 2012.

scrappyjacky said...

I can remember feeling just this way about my brother....and I'm not sure if it's something all siblings tend to feel.

heart.hearth.home. said...

Such a thought provoking post. I believe we have all had times when we felt unfairly treated but have grown from the experience and like you,now try to make sure our own children are treated equally. Thank you for such an honest story.
A happy New Year to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Loved this and could relate to it too. I think that sibling relationships are hard to change - my brothers still treat me as the younger sister who knows nothing even though I'm 47! Pixie boots were cool though!

Scattychick said...

I relate to this too Kirsty my brother is almost 6 years younger and was born with a serious heart defect requiring open heart surgery at 6 months so I always felt he was given preferential treatment when I was younger. If it makes you feel any better I didn't get a computer till my husband and I bought one in 2004 lol.

Happy new year xxx

Cheri said...

I wouldn't have thought that was fair either! I didn't get my first computer until after I graduated college... and all I could do was [barely] operate the word processing program. Thinking back on it... man DOS based programs were clunky!

Chipper said...

So nice that you are being honest. I had a Christmas experience like that once. The only Christmas I cried. My dad handed my brother and I our Christmas present. (We didn't live with him and his wife doesn't like Christmas. Consequently there was usually only a small gift each). It was an envelope. When we opened it I was so excited as it contained $150!!!!!! Loads of money then and still alot of money now. The mathematician in me calculated that as $75 each and I felt so rich. But then the bubble burst and I came back down to earth in an instant. My dad said it was to buy the pole that was need for the basket ball backboard my brother had at home. He was the only basketball player in the family. I HATED the sport. I quietly left the room and burst into tears. I also have tried very hard to not do this to my kids.

SnazzyJazzy said...

Hi Kirsty, I remember your vic20 and those pixie boots. and the scrolling name trick ; )

But I think it was 1982 wasn't it if you were 12? the 1970s is a little bit of poetic license!

Jinx xx