So long, Lydia

I’m breaking up with my Macbook Pro


My files have been backed up–I’m no Carrie Bradshaw, and I can conceivably invest in a new computer, but as 2012 continues to slip from my grip, the anxiety of replacement becomes progressively more uncomfortable to face.

It all started about two weeks ago when her heart began rotating in a rainbow wheel both ceaselessly and uncontrollably. It hit me only yesterday, while watching the track wheel assume its new position as evil software dictator that she probably won’t make it to 2013. My loved ones have tried to comfort me, “she’s replaceable, you’ll be okay.”

Genius Bar geniuses have tried to explain that her current iterations are far quicker and more functional than she is, “you’ll be so happy you won’t even remember the previous version.” Previous version? Previous version? She has a name, and it is Lydia.

The realists in my life have explained that she is quite literally “a robot with no heart, so man the fuck up, Leandra.” But I find it all hard to believe. If not because I’m not interested in a new iteration than certainly because I am wholly selfish, a victim of wild separation anxiety and quite simply: I just want Lydia, my one and only Macbook Pro, to live forever. We’ve been to the moon and back together (see:,) for heaven’s sake! How can I chalk up her death to anything less than, well, a bit of my own?

When I met her, I was 18 years naive. Still ctrl+alt+deleting and using keyboard keys that read “F11” or “Backspace,” I had no idea what “command” meant, much less what it was capable of achieving. She showed me the light (it is rather bright when fully optimized,) and in doing so, taught me of screen shots and Pages and the simplicity of Finder. By the time I was 21, we’d collectively become inseparable, like Thelma and Louise, if Thelma harbored substantial RAM.

Independently, I’d become quite the snob. “Oh, you still use a PC? Like…A Dell?” I would ask with the same discriminative rigor I do today when I come upon a Blackberry user. “That’s so…retro.”

But maybe the realists are right. I’d never quit on her, so how is it that she can quit on me? It does seem rather heartless. And I’ve taught her a thing or two myself, you know. Like the fact that Pandora is most calming when tuned into the Frank Sinatra station. And that Shopbop refreshes with a new slew of fresh clothing every morning around 6AM.

While stroking her keys with my thumb, index and middle fingers wondering if these words will be the last we craft together, I mentally flip through the conjured images of happier days. There we are, by the desk in my bedroom in my parents’ home, IMing from a screen name called Cold Pencil. There we are again, in a hotel room somewhere remote, using 15-dollar-for-one-hour’s-worth-WiFi, setting up a Facebook page and indulging in The Wall’s mysticism. “Hey,” “What’s up?” my first wall-to-wall interaction read. Back at home, I’m paraphrasing from a textbook on Brown vs. The Board of Education and in my dorm room on 20th street, I’m flipping between Word, where I’m typing notes on Jack Kerouac’s On The Road and life-changing computer game, Snood. Oh dear, and awwww, here’s the money shot: there we are, in my kitchen, likening a pair of shorts at Topshop to The Lion King’s ass. She used to be so quick.

Now suppose I do give in, will The Replacement know that I check twitter maniacally? How about that my relationship with Safari is as tumultuous as Cathy Horyn’s prose vs. Oscar de la Renta’s Spring 2013 collection? If I type “Pa” into my search tab will it immediately know that I am thinking about Pat Kiernan? Can it handle the egg sandwiches I will indubitably eat on it?

Most importantly though, is this really about the computer, or is it me? I once read (in the bible) that the most important relationships manifest between man and man, and man and God. The years post 2000 however, challenge the previous relationships and offer the meteoric importance of a kinship between man and computer. My search tab is more private than my panty drawer (which, believe you me, harbors some wild ambiguities,) and the collection of memories, notes, stories and experiences that Lydia harbors are more precise and extensive than the ones my own head does. So can I move on? Should I move on? Am I really…?

At last, the spinning track wheel resumes, stops my thoughts and it takes over 20 minutes to regain control.

It’s time. Goodbye, Lydia.

Get more Brain Massage ?
  • ayse

    I COMPLETELY smypathize. I got my baby Earnest (my mac) almost 6 years ago, and he’s been steadily heading towards the light these past few weeks.

  • The Style Engineer

    so sad, but Im sure you’ll learn to love your new one just as much!


  • don’t break up with me! i can’t be broken !just kidding!amaxing how technology is out savior for everything.ha ha love the name

  • Maryanne
    sooo sad. Love the comparison of the search tab with a panty drawer, I feel the same way completely!

  • i can see where you come from with this..

  • littlething

    Those “geniuses” are lying to you. Swap out the hard drive, darling, add some memory, a shiny new OS and Lydia will be kicking her heels in no time! Seriously, my 2006 Macbook would have lasted 10 years if I hadn’t accidentally busted the display a month ago. *sniff*

    • Leandra Medine


      • Lauren

        spoken like a true Carrie…

      • fashionablecollections

        LOL there this weekend with my mac!! I wonder if that means something that everyone with a mac computer has to go there to get them fixed…

    • Anna Stopes

      my 2006 macbook was described as “vintage” at the genius bar the other day! needs a new motherboard sadly.

    • I agree… Don’t always believe what those geniuses have to say. As lovely as they are – they don’t understand the real relationships!

  • Niyati

    When Ruby died, I thought my soul had been sucked into a bottomless abyss of utmost despair.

  • Such a beautiful, sad history <3 I completely sympathize ! Give us news of your new baby Mac when it comes 🙂

  • Barbara Genda

    Have a love hate relationship with my MAC. Gets called various names, probably should not print them here!

  • B.

    It’s pretty crazy to have a connection with your laptop, but I’d probably be pretty sad if mine broke aswell, even if I could just get a new one

  • vittoria gallacci

    So sorry about your loss… But I’m sure that after a couple of days the new Mac will know you almost as well as Lydia does now! ^_^

    Vittoria from 5 IN THE MORNING

  • Awwwww sad to let an old laptop go. They become as personal as a handbag. Hope you like the next one just as much.

  • Viki

    I feel for you so much! me too had to RIP my older MAC just recently. It was one of those earlier versions, a desktop, without any flash card in it, and it looks likes a smaller tubie TV. So cute!!! Sight…. I really loved her a lot. Itunes and photoshop still works great on it, but the internet connection was really slow at the end. I remember, I used to click on the pages in bookmark, then go to the kitchen to grab some water, and when I got back, little tubie was still uploading the pages. 🙂

    I upgraded to another, NEW totally new desktop; but its like a flatscreen with the computer in it, and its still FLAT. Takes almost no place. Pages load up like when I flip TV channels.

    I still have old tubie tucked away, wrapped in a blanket, away from harm and big mean mac collectors. I still think, I might need her some days…

  • Viki

    Also: I second “littlething”. Mac book pros can be perked up…try, because a MAC can live really long. See my old tubie is still alive… but it cant get intell. Is THAT old. But yours is a younger version.

  • you know when you get a new mac, it will still be your lydia, just in a different new body. soul doesn’t die.

  • This is a perfect way to describe the relationship between man and computer! I know this feeling exactly. This also applies to my old iPhone.

  • fknjulie

    Lydia 2.0 will be as good as the first once your used to it, but what I would do without Stella is beyond me. My sympathies, may the force and the computer gods be with you.

  • Romy schick

    love your writing! you can write about french toast vs. regular toast and i’d find it interesting and ammusing! haha

  • Eva

    So sorry to hear about Lydia. I just bought my first Mac 5 months ago, still haven’t given her a name though…I should do that…xx

  • Sophie Lewis

    Don’t listen to those “geniuses”! I am still using a 2008 Macbook and she’s just lovely! I once tried to switch over to the darkside of the “air” but alas, my good ol white, heavy, not as thin as the air laptop called me back. The relationship between man and computer is irrefutable, and I am going to stick to the one that is currently getting me through high school. Good luck finding a Lydia replacement; I hope she/he is everything you have found in Lydia and more. xx

  • Jenny Reid
    I need a replacement laptop so bad!

  • Nico

    Like this post, but I don’t know nothing about mac 😀

  • Bring a man with you to Tekserve or they won’t take you seriously. Go Lydia!

  • Reptilia

    OMG. You are so funny!! hahaha Three weeks ago my baby(same mac book pro) died as well. I was so sad. I completely underestand you . And here you define what i felt percetly!
    Great post. This christmas i will have a new mac but i already miss you my baby!


  • Felicity

    Okay, so this will be the third time this week that I’ve hopped on over to the Apple website to perv over macbook porn. I want a love like yours. Even the purple of my Dell can’t win my heart. Piece of freakin’ poo. x

  • I feel your pain. My first lady, Agyness, is still kicking (slowly) but I still keep her around even though I have a newer one. I can’t let go. 😀

  • debbywarner

    My condolences…RIP Lydia

  • Amalie Espeland

    lol, i thought the eye on the apple was a bullet hole first. i’m like.. WTH did you do??

  • María Belén Acosta Meana

    I’m so sorry for you Leandra! I have just recently discovered the amazing OS X and I will never ever go back to a PC. But, I have just a small problem… I own a Macbook pro AND a Blackberry, that doesn´t make sense, right? Gotta switch to Apple love all the way.

  • I’m very sorry for your loss. Sounds like your and Lydia have been through a lot.

    Kate xo

  • Andrea Weigmann

    you almost made me cry….and you definately made me think!! my little mac(y) is 5 years OLD now…I still have the white one (of which I have been sooo proud when I first brought it to the library at university…I mean it was apple, right?!)….!It is also starting to get slower, it already had a little (major) hard drive break down…but still going strong! Don’t be too sad you will never forget Lydia and you will make friends with “Lydia 2” for sure….

  • Lydia James

    this is hilarious! You can make anything funny…plus my names Lydia soooo XD xx

  • Your prose never fails to inspire me as a writer! Thank you thank you, thank you

  • Nathan Moy

    Awww… This shouldn’t be happening ;(

  • Kathryn

    I just went through this exact thing with my MacBook Pro. I refused to accept it as he was only a year and a half. Part of not accepting this was my refusal to back up my data because I was “too lazy and would do it tomorrow.” That being said, tomorrow never came. AppleCare gave me a new hard drive. I learned the hard way. Clone Lydia while you’re ahead!

  • I believe in computer reincarnation!!!! I received a MacPro as early Xmas present from my significant other and I swear she has my old Lola PC soul…lol. She is prettier and much more chic in her new life :-). Just believe!! and Lydia will be back with you in her new hot outfit.

  • marinacasapu

    I never even thought to give a name to my mac, but after reading this post I caught myself thinking of a few…:0

  • PZH

    I literally just gave up my Black Macbook last week. Got the new 15″ retina display macbook Pro. Couldn’t be happier. Yes, it’s hard to move on and yes I still secretly use my old macbook just for fun, but when the dreaded rainbow wheel comes up again and my screen looks blurry because it ain’t no retina then I go straight back to my new love. I promise you won’t regret it!


  • So sorry about your loss… But I’m sure that after a couple of days the new Mac will know you almost as well as Lydia does now! ^_^

  • I love reading your writing so much! You are my inspiration when it comes to writing. I’m so useless when it comes to words but you could talk about anything and it would flow perfectly while still being witty and interesting! x

  • Dusty Petals

    My condolences. I too have lost one but am happy with my new baby. oxo

  • Jen

    Did you, by coincidence, major in English? Good luck with The Replacement. This made me giggle, and my mac has no name. *sniff*

  • Lauren Dimesky

    RIP, Lydia! kiss kiss


    -Lauren at adorn la femme

  • sometimes when i’m about to do a group project or join a study session I am so scared my spirit animal (my computer) will accidentally reveal that the last thing I googled was if I could make stella mccartney citrus print when life gave me lemons.

  • downalexander

    I was, and i repeat was, sad to realise that my macdaddy was on its way out. But the never ending rainbow wheel the past couple of months has driven me insane and if i was a $1100 richer i’d have murdered macdaddy weeks ago!!!

  • pennylane187

    How random! I just ordered the new iMac cos my MacBook Pro is dying… that colourful spinning wheel is driving me insane. But once my new mac is all set up, I’ll whip this baby clean, get her some new memory, and use her when I’m all comfy in bed and need to read my blog roll..

  • Marla Vender

    I just replaced my hard drive and it is like a new computer. I’m going to get the MacBook Air for myself, MacBook Pro for the house.

  • Belén Cavas Hernández

    Really shocked, I’m used to hear stories has relationships with other electronic gadgets but with a computer is probably the first, but I agree with you on many points. 😉

  • Belén Cavas Hernández
  • RIP Lydia

    ♥ Thankfifi

  • L

    My own Lydia died senior year after a mishap with a bottle of Pinot. I sold it on Craigslist to some Asian freshman who met me in Starbucks and spent the cash on a round of shots commemorating her memory. You’ll like the newer Macs so much better (although there’s nothing like the first one from college!). Happy 24th to us, also! Love my fellow Sag.

  • Breakfast at Cindi’s

    I felt this way too about my old mac book pro but the new one I got 3 weeks ago is amazing, you’ll miss Lydia but you won’t miss that irritating spinnning rainbow.



    Breakfast at

  • Fashion Hound

    i left my ‘child’…’Mac-arooni’ on a seat at the airport and realised 1o minutes later at the check in i didnt have it with me, what a terrible mother, how could i do such a thing…it was like someone sliced off my limb…thank f**k the airline security already had it and she was back in my arms in no time…i feel your pain, they are our offspring! Maybe you should have a burial/wake/memorial in Lydia’s honor! ; ) x

  • Don´t give up on her like that only because some heartless, pragmatic brains are telling you to. There is always a second opinion and a way out of the mud. She is from the apple family…supposed to being vampires…living a hunred or more years. Feed her!


    First of all; Eek, I thought you wrote about me when I read the headline! An honor to have the same name as the machine who sends all your great blog posts out to the world! Second; Oh no, that’s so sad .. A couple of weeks after I’d received my MacBook Pro I managed to spill WATER on him (mine’s a male) . But you know what? EVERYTHING works except three keys I don’t even need (when I push them the computer just shuts down) :)))))) So I now the feeling – had it when I still thought he was dead. I was so sad ..

    1. Because he’s sexy

    2. Because I couldn’t (and still can’t) afford a new one without living on just water for some months..

    But the day will probably come in some years but I don’t think I will be able to throw him away tho. He’s a good friend in need (which is every single day). Feel ya – I’m here for you <3

    – L

  • N_Gott

    just bought new RAM for my 2008 precious mac, and it has done wonders. no joke. long live lydia.

  • mintxcondition

    Was half way into the post while my rainbow wheel started spinning in the upper right corner….was wondering when I could scroll down..7 mins…of course. -_-

  • Luanda

    Leandra, I just can´t believe it actually made me sad.

  • Claire252

    I had an iBook G4 which was still my pride and joy even after 7 years together. The time came where the WoD (aka Wheel of Death) was spinning more often than not, so I upgraded two months ago. The first night I got my new Macbook Pro I shut myself in my bedroom, got comfortable, and got my new computer out of the box. I felt like I was cheating on my old computer. I actually looked forlornly across the bed at my old G4 and one point and mouthed “sorry” at it. Needless to say that as soon as I turned on my new Macbook Pro all feelings of despair went out the window. It’s hard, but you’ll get there.

  • I know what you’re going through!! My 2009 Macbook has been giving me the color wheel and blue screen of death- it hurts my soul!!!

  • I recently bought a macbook pro after years of being anti-mac and I am so in love. I will never go back. And all the comments saying their own Lydia’s have lasted 6+ makes me look forward to a long future with my own precious pro.


    Brilliantly stated! Carry On! So, quickly you will fall in love with a new Baby Mac!

  • Im taling my baby to the Mac-doctor. I do not What to experience what you just elaborated.

  • mckenzie

    as sad I was to let go of my beloved macbook (2006) I did eventually upgrade and I have to say that I’ve never been happier.

  • Chael

    ” … the anxiety of replacement becomes progressively more uncomfortable to face”.

    Absolutely the same here. I also cant make a decision to buy a new computer.

  • Mariam Gomez

    Can you believe I just went through EXACTLY the same as you just a couple of days ago? Replacing my extremely old but beloved Macbook for a Macbook Pro. Good change but.. I miss LILY.

    However, I’ve always believed ‘change is always for good’. So there you go 


  • fawkeshunter

    Great Pat Kiernan reference. I wish he could read the headlines to me in California!

    Suzette (my elderly computer) and I wish you and Lydia a peaceful parting.

  • therealjlow

    I feel your pain! I just had my MacBook Pro (Moss the mac)’s harddrive replaced when safari kept crashing my computer! Unfortunately unlike sensible people like yourself, I am Carrie Bradshaw and didn’t back up . . . bye bye outfit posts! Good Luck with your new Mac (my old one was called Sheldon and now keeps watch over Moss haha – no one understands the love of a laptop!) Excellent post!

  • Your writing>>>

  • oh, i’m just me ;)

    girl! heart, brain, and lung transplants, so say I 😛 … get any issues on the hard drive taken care of & add more space, if need be! get her as much RAM as she can take. and if Lydia HAS to give up the ghost -> and see how much she’ll help you with getting a new machine.
    love, your friendly apple advisor (shhhh!!)

  • Ana Margarita Cabrera

    You know what’s funny the same thing happened to me. A friend of mine told me “Face it your Macbook Pro is obsolete”. At that moment my heart died. I refuse to give up on her, and you should not give up on Lydia.

    ps. You are amazing!

  • Karalyn Rae

    I feel your pain. I don’t think my macbook is going to make it to the end of the semester. My only comfort is that I am well known at my local genius bar.


  • you’re as much in love with Lydia as i am with my baby bunny (she’s a M sport 525 beemer whom I greet every morning with a ‘Coucou Grande Soeur’). my mom’s been telling me for a year now its time to get a small hybrid (“especially since you are so eco-warrior and into conservation, Zou” -her words,) more suited to city driving. but on the rare occasion when i drive down south to Singapore (for fun -its a 400km, 2.5 hour, or north to wherever – have yet to drive to Thailand though), its just pure pleasure. My baby purrs like a contente kitten the faster i drive, the further i go. And I am in ecstasy. She’s also my love, u know?

    So I feel you. Lydia getting ill like that and having to be replaced. Its heartbreaking. But I hope you will be able to bond with your new ‘baby’ and maybe a different but equally deep love will develop.

    As for me, of late, i’ve noticed my mom has stopped saying anything about anything to do with my baby. I hope ‘Grande Soeur’ will be with me for a very very long time. Cos a life without her, doesn’t bear thinking about.

  • Therese

    I can relate with an attachment to inanimate objects. Losing my last iPhone was a truly upsetting experience, and using its iCloud backup on a new model felt like i was betraying the previous device. But soon the new model works its way into your heart.

  • Barbara

    Oh YES. I’m in that position now too. The spinning beach ball of death was popping up more and more, until finally my dearly beloved MacBook Pro just died on me. She (Lulu), is in intensive care with her heart (hard drive) out and being cleared of ‘bad blocks’…. What are they? Ouch…and it’s been a months once I backed up. Resolution: back up every (or at least every other) day when she is back safely in my bosom…providing she does recover. Oh it’s like waiting to find out if your child will live or die. I’ve always treated her gently and hardly ever take her out (maybe she’s bored with me). Oh my dearly beloved Lulu, come back home!

  • Oh dear! I hate the thought of replacing my 2008 MacBook Pro Alex but it has to be done. Eventually not soon. I can’t afford to do it any time soon but man I need to replace him and it is a sad thought. I never thought it would be so difficult to replace a piece of tech but man. I actually watched that episode of Sex and the City recently and as a kid I never understood that connection she had to her laptop but now holy cow!