To say the husband is security-minded is tantamount to saying that the Pope is Catholic. I must admit, however, that over the years the husband has shaved what he believes to be considerable time from the 30-minute home-security ritual he goes through every time we leave town.
All that to say, I should not have been surprised when he was working on his laptop at the kitchen table and I saw a small pink Post-it note stuck to the top of his computer.
“Is that a reminder for something?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “It’s in case anyone tries to hack through the wireless and access the webcam.”
I asked why he thought someone might weasel through his webcam, and he said, “Well, they did it to Miss Teen USA, and she wasn’t too happy about it.”
Because there is a delicate balance between honesty and love in the course of a marriage, I reminded him, ever so gently, “You are not Miss America.”
I may also have reminded him that he is a late middle-age male who never streaks through the house in the buff.
When we Skyped with our son later, I told him about the Post-it on his dad’s computer. I asked what the thought a hacker might see. He began to imitate someone falling asleep at the computer. The husband was only mildly amused and said, “That’s not the only thing someone might see. They could also see me eating pretzels.”
He had us there. We had completely overlooked the pretzels. It would not be case of webcam sextortion, but a case of webcam carbtortion.
The husband also reminded us that the last iPhone update had a glitch that let anyone bypass the phone’s lock to hijack photos, texts and emails.
“Exactly why I didn’t update my phone,” I said. “I don’t want someone stealing my photo of that lovely apple pie I made or pictures of my herb bed.”
Everyone is at risk to intrusions from technology, yet there is a comfort, and no doubt a false sense of security, in knowing that we are boring – not necessarily to one another, but by any measure of today’s Kardashian standards.
I was working at my desktop, where I put a Post-it on the top of my computer screen as a sign of solidarity (even though my desktop monitor doesn’t have a webcam), when the husband came in to tell me something.
“What’s with that spoon in your hand?” I asked.
“Ice cream,” he said.
“Make sure your Post-it is in place,” I said. “The last thing we need is the world knowing that we’re so boring we even eat plain old vanilla bean.”
Lori Borgman is the author of “My Memory Is Shot; All I Retain Now Is Water.” Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org