I start my master's program in less than a week, so in preparation, I bought a new laptop computer. It's black and shiny and new and pretty and it has games. I'm sure there's a bunch of other features, but I'm not very familiar with computer speak. Case in point:
Me: [yawn] Gosh I'm exhausted.
The Man: You wouldn't be so tired if you didn't stay up so late playing on your new laptop.
Me: I wasn't playing! I was downloading important hardware.
The Man: Downloading hardware, huh?
Me: Yes, I had to install Microsoft Office and everything.
The Man: Honey, you don't download hardware.
Me: Then what did I just spend the last hour doing?
The Man: Downloading software.
Me: What's the difference?
The Man: [indistinct technological jargon]
Me: I don't understand a word you just said.
The Man: Ok. Hardware is the physical, tangible part of the computer. Software is the program that you run but don't see.
Me: But it was on a CD. Isn't that tangible?
The Man: [sighs] Technically, yes.
Me: Well ok then. I was downloading hardware.
The Man: No, you weren't. [Thinks for a second] Ok. You know what Mike McDaniel does? He writes software programs.
Me: No, he protects us from terrorists and hackers.
The Man: [sighs] Yes, but he does it by writing software programs.
Me: I miss Mike and Jessica.
The Man: Honey, focus. I want you to understand this.
Me: Ok ok. I think I get it.
The Man: Do you or are you just saying that?
Me: Yes! So the hardware is like Nintendo and software is like Super Mario Brothers?
The Man: [shakes his head and sighs] Sure.
Me: HA! I figured it out!
As an EMT and volunteer medic at the local hospital, the Man owns a very high-end (read: expensive and pretty) stethoscope. Every night after he runs, he takes his blood pressure and heart rate to make sure everything is running smoothly (no pun intended). Sometimes he leaves his stethoscope unattended...
Me: [I grabbed the stethoscope and started mimicking Darth Vader]
The Man: Sweetheart, are you playing with my stethoscope?
The Man: What are you doing?
Me: I'm checking my vitals. I don't think I have a heart rate.
The Man: You have the ear buds in backwards.
The Man: You weren't playing Darth Vader again were you?
The Man: This isn't a toy, you know.
Me: I know. I'm sorry.