Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 - Year of the Intervention

“Do you mind if I look in here?” she asked, almost sweetly, as though she sensed that after being pulled through Bath and Body Works, La Senza, Tristan and Jacob, I was about to bump against my ceiling for shopping tolerance.

“No problem,” I replied, almost sweetly, as though I knew that after being pulled through Bath and Body Works, La Senza, Tristan and Jacob, I had already bumped against my ceiling for shopping tolerance and had begun struggling to suppress telltale symptoms.

I have a brain and I understand. As I have documented repeatedly in these Free Writes blogs, Susan loves to shop! For a couple of days now, she had been itching to wander through a mall and was simply making the most of yesterday’s trip. She had already purchased a couple of sweaters and a bag full of smelly stuff!

We entered the electronics store and, suddenly, as though a powerful tractor beam had latched onto her mind, her zombie-like steps led us straight to the flat screen televisions.

She stood in front of a 46 inch, LED flat screen priced at $899.99 for too long, talking about where she would put it and what components she would attach to it and who would be able to use it and for which shows and games! After several long disconcerting minutes, we would finally wander off to look at a few other things in the store and then, she’d go right back to the same 46 inch television and stand there, longingly.

At one point, with her trembling hand resting on the unopened box, she looked at me and announced, “I’m buying it.” By gritting my teeth, I successfully fought the reflex to blurt out a stream of logical reasons against such an impulsive purchase, but I’m fairly certain some part of my face began twitching involuntarily.

She seemed to manifest a dire need for this 46 inch television. It was kind of eery.

Evidently, the iPhone4S was not enough.

On Monday December 12th, I walked into an Apple store and asked to buy an iPhone4S. The sales clerk asked, “Do you have an appointment?” 
“What for?” I inquired.
“We only sell the iPhone4S by appointment,” stated the clerk.
My mouth said, “Oh”, but my brain screamed, “Are you friggin’ kidding me?”

He informed me that after nine o’clock each night, customers interested in buying the device must log onto the Apple site and schedule an appointment. 

Susan loves gadgets. She adores gadgets and, at times, I fear, may even crave them! This phone is the hottest thing in gadgets and comes with iOS and iCloud, all-new 8MP camera and optics, along with a dual-core A5 chip. It would make a fine Christmas gift.

At work Tuesday, moments after nine o’clock, I dutifully logged onto the store site but was unable to complete the appointment process because of a connection problem. By the time I logged back on, the white 16G version of the iPhone was no longer available.

Wednesday night, I encountered the same problem; connection problem during the final phase. Thursday night, I forgot to log on right after nine o’clock and by the time I did, none of the iPhone4S models were available.

Friday night, the white 16G version was unavailable, although I noticed in one of the edit suites at work that website filters had been installed. Perhaps the filters were the reason I was not able to complete the on-line appointment process from work.

I had begun to consider other gift possibilities.

At home Saturday night, Tristan, who helped finance the venture, tried from his Mac and “boom”, he got an appointment for the next day, the desired model of iPhone, reserved! Exciting stuff! Next, the website had a list of things to bring when collecting your iPhone; they included such suggested items as a passport, driver’s permit, social insurance number, proof of address and a strand of DNA. Gimme a break!

Whatever happened to walking into a store, choosing an item, paying for it and leaving with it in your hand? Honestly, after the hassle of obtaining this phone, I wanted to suggest they change the name of their store to Rotten Apple.

Tristan and I got to the Apple store at 12:30 Sunday afternoon December 18th. A sales clerk named Nancy verified our appointment, typed a bunch of stuff into her iPhone, looked over our ID documents and then, we stood there for several minutes, waiting for an employee to bring it from the back room to the front of the crowded store.

Finally, I had it in my hot little hands. I was fairly sure that when Susan got it in her hot little hands Christmas morning, her craving for a new gadget would have been satisfied for at least a couple of weeks! I was wrong. There we were, New Year’s Eve, she, drooling on the 46 inch LED flat screen and, me, wondering what my next step should be.

I’m thinking intervention.

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