Waiting for Word

Once there was a young mother who liked to write. She scribbled in spiral notebooks. Sometimes she typed up her prose, erasing mistakes with a white, rubbery implement.

One day, while visiting her parents-in-law, she was treated to a new form of technology: they owned a computer word processor. She scarcely believed its wonders. Type a sentence. Misspelled word? No problem. Go backwards, retype. Need to rearrange sentences? Hit CUT, PASTE. It was MAGIC. The young mother nearly swooned.

Came the day her husband brought home an IBM, model 8088, with its OWN word processor. The woman checked it several times a day to see whether it truly continued to save her edits in different attempted stories.

It did.

There followed a series of computers. One, a gift from the woman’s parents-in-law (savvy Mac buffs they), included a wonderful processing program, Microsoft Word. The woman studied its tutorial and learned such terms as TEMPLATE and SAVE AS. She practiced her words in Word often and eventually sold some prose to magazines and newspapers.

But, alas, the Mac went the way of all things, and the woman found herself a PC-owner. Her PC’s word processsor bore the name Microsoft Works.

The woman soon found it did not.

She has since struggled with the deficiencies of Works. She sighs whenever an email arrives from writer-friends with an attachment ending in .doc, because no way in heck can she open it. And emailing or submitting manuscripts online, while possible with a rich text program she once downloaded, still makes her feel second-rung, to say the least, as a still-trying-to-be-professional writer.

After this Christmas, however, the woman (a mother still but no longer young) found an exciting use for her gift-money. A low, low price appeared on an older version of -- happiness, yippidee -- Microsoft Word. A few clicks of her mouse has sent the promise of documents in WORD winging her way via USPS.

Tomorrow you may spot a less-than-youngish woman waiting near her mailbox, sappy grin and hug ready for the postal carrier in case he delivers a MAGICAL disc embossed with the elegant title, MS Word 2000.