Every year, a few weeks before Christmas, the Boyfriend asks what I want as a present.
“I honestly don’t know. There’s really nothing I need. I have enough things” I say with a slight anti-consumerist smugness.
Then I’ll divert him by asking him what he wants. And he’ll usually list some boringly practical things that he does indeed need, like undershirts and socks. (You know the romance has gone out of the relationship when you ask for socks as a gift and . . . you get them!) And then once he has named all his needs, he’ll go back to interrogating me for what I want. This year rather than my stock response of “world peace”, I let him know what I really wanted.
“Well, if you really want to get me something, I would love to have the new iPhone 4S” I said half-seriously.
The Boyfriend shook his head. “What is your wrong with your current iPhone? It’s perfectly good. You just got it. I don’t understand this throw-away culture. People always have to have the latest and greatest and coolest.” I had heard this rant before so I cut him off.
“A) My phone is two and half years old and B) I’m not getting it because it’s the ‘latest and greatest’, but it’s got some features I really need. Anyway, I don’t expect you to get me a new iPhone, I’ll take care of it myself.” My tone told him that particular conversation was over.
I wasn’t in any hurry to get my new phone. I figured I’d just drop by the Apple Store on my way home from work sometime in the next couple of weeks and pick it up. But, then I heard that no one really had it in stock, that you had to order it and then wait for delivery. Oh no no noooo, that is not acceptable. Suddenly I wanted that phone and I wanted it NOW. I found a website called Milo where you can look up a product and it lists where it is in stock near you. Turns out the Best Buy nearest to my home had them in stock. A phone call confirmed the information, though the clerk said I had better get there that evening because there weren’t many left.
I hightailed it out of the office. I was on a mission. So, of course, I hit unusually heavy traffic. Fine, no problem. Breathe, listen to music, think of clever questions to ask Siri. When I’m on the home stretch of the 5 mph traffic, I notice a slow and rhythmic ker-thunk ker-thunk. Really? Seriously? A flat freakin’ tire? Oy!
Fortunately, there was a nice wide shoulder near the entrance to San Quentin Prison to pull over. And as luck would have it, my AAA membership had expired. I asked the nice AAA lady on the phone if she could kindly just call the tow-truck while I take care of the renewal. Nope. Money first, help later. But, after a few minutes the tow-truck was summoned and within a half an hour I’m back on the road.
Once I arrive at Best Buy (a store I once pledged to never shop at again due to their abhorrent treatment of female customers), I see there are three clerks at three desks helping customers with mobile phone purchases. I was the only person waiting. Soon, Siri would be mine. Then one of the clerks walks away with his customer, never to return. The clerk at the middle desk seemed a bit, er, mentally challenged. I don’t know how complex the transaction she was having with her customer, but it was going on when I arrived and was still going on when I left. The third clerk had a customer buying an iPhone and every time it looked like the customer was getting ready to finish up, something else would come up – a problem with his account, a problem with his card, or he would wander off to look at accessories. After about a half hour, finally, the third clerk became available.
Much to the relief of the line that had formed behind me, my interaction was easy breezy, and within ten minutes I walked out with my new iPhone. Merry Christmas to me!
(Oh, and I lied about “needing” some new of the new features. I merely wanted them. And yes, guilty as charged in terms of wanting it because it’s cool.)