Tuesday, September 10, 2013

iThink iNeed an iPad

We're just going to pretend that I've posted semi-regularly since April, so let's start with what's plagued me the past two days (other than how in the hell J and I are going to retire comfortably by 40, which has also kept me up the last couple nights).

Should I buy an iPad?

First-world problems, for sure, but last Sunday J decided he needed an iPad "for work" (how convenient!) and so he somehow managed to steer me into the nearest Apple store after cheerfully baby clothes shopping with me at the adjacent Gap Kids. (I should have known something was up the way he picked out pink rompers and baby tights with such gusto.)

I've never liked Apple stores since they are as packed as the tight streets of Mumbai and usually smell like a mixture of sweaty palms, bad breath, and an un-showered Frenchman or two. But I reluctantly followed J in and tried to be all supportive and whatnot since he works hard and deserves a new toy every now and then, I suppose.

The problem was that as much as I didn't want to try out one of the display iPads, I did. Just like in those scientific temptation experiments when the children are left alone in a room full of marshmallows and told not to eat them. With my mouth full of marshmallows my fingers wandered across the greasy screen of the nearest display model and I began to believe I actually needed one. At first I fought the feeling with an air of superiority, smirking at the apps all these schmucks around me filled their little overpriced iPads with, but then the resonance of the apps began to sink in.

Though I'd tried out the iPads of friends and family, I always felt like they were wholly unnecessary if you already owned an iPhone (which I do) and a MacBook (which I do). The iPad, to me, was just another business tactic by Apple to have their fanbase by the cajones in a vice grip. How many conduits did one person need to send an email, watch cat videos on YouTube, or read about Lamar Odom's not so secret drug problem?

But all of that logic, all of that sense began to dissipate once I fiddled with the Living Earth app as J purchased his iPad from a sales associate. Once I tried it, I rationalized that I absolutely needed a satellite view of the globe in real time so I could check the weather reports and time in Buenos Aires and Dubai because, well, because I just did, okay?! And I needed this one fashion app so I could get blasted with the top 10 most popular shoes at any given time (because obviously I really need to find more streamlined ways to blow wads and wads of money). And on top of all else, I definitely needed this list-making app, you know, to keep track of all the shoes and clothes and extraneous things in my apps that I was about to spend our money on.

I left empty-handed, feeling bereft and lost. Only 15 minutes prior I'd been thoroughly convinced that iPads were for iDiots. And now here I was, pining after one like a fat kid looking for his last marshmallow. Who was the idiot now?

J reassured me that we'd get me one too if I really wanted one, and I did really want one. Especially once we got home and J pulled out his shiny new iPad and loaded it up with apps and pictures and basically everything cool that's ever been created and . . . well, here I was at the other end of the couch bitterly flipping through the news on my tired old iPhone 4, glaring at him out of the corner of my eye with a look of jealousy, resentment and disgust.

But then he passed the iPad over for me to try, and for some reason it wasn't as cool as it was in the store. Perhaps it was the grease of a thousand fingertips that had swiped that display model before mine, or perhaps it was that in-store aroma of sweat and unwashed computer programmers that clouded my mind like a hypnotic memory, but all of a sudden this iPad I was ready to drop 5 hunskies on didn't seem like the best financial decision. Yes, it's a pretty neat tool (I'll give you that), but is it 500 dollars worth of neat? Now I'm not so sure.

So I here I am, debating whether or not we should splurge and buy me one too. J reasons that it would be perfect to use on long plane flights when we jet to Europe and other distant lands, but I reminded him that the last time we flew to Europe was six years ago. Then he said it'd be perfect to throw in my handbag and use to write at coffeeshops. Which it would . . . if I was childless and back in my Carrie Bradshaw days when I could just prance on over to the nearest Starbucks, spend all day writing whatever I wanted, and my biggest concern was refilling my cafe au lait.

Let's be honest here. The iPad will mainly serve one of two functions. 1.) To entertain Ava with baby-friendly apps when she's on the precipice of a temper tantrum at Target, the grocery store, or any dining establishment that we are crazy enough to bring her to right now. And, 2.) Make it easier for me to read my celebrity gossip on the couch and/or toilet. Because, you know, holding the iPad versus balancing my MacBook on my lap (or God forbid, squinting at my iPhone screen) will allow for more optimum Brangelina reading.

I would attempt to use it for writing (with a mobile keyboard I'd also have to ante up the cash for), but my days of penning the next Great American Novel at Starbucks have fallen by the wayside these days. The precious hours I get to write (now edit, since I finished my book this summer), fall during whenever Ava decides to nap, and for those few hours where I get to be creative I would gladly write with quill and ink if I had to. An iPad would not increase my productivity.

The more I think about it, the more I don't need an iPad. I just want one. Because now J has one, so I must have one too, along with the better part of the Western world. Maybe it's a pack mentality thing. All the cool kids are doing it so why can't I?

Because I'm not cool anymore? I was once, but that was back when Freebird's wasn't yet a chain, everyone owned a clamshell cell phone and platform flip-flips were still in. Do I need an iPad to prove that I am still relevant? Probably. But for now I think I'll save that 500 dollars and read my Real Housewives news the old fashioned way: on my laptop.


Unknown said...

Hi Crystal! I just found your blog via your post about surviving law school with your husband. My husband is starting grad school this fall and your words were very reassuring! Thanks!

Your blog is great and I love your writing style... I'll definitely be checking back at some point to see if you decide to keep writing. (I hope you do!)
- Lynn-Holly from ThreeSistersAttic.blogspot.com

Unknown said...

Hi Crystal! I found your blog via your post about surviving law school with your husband and I'm so glad I did! My husband is starting law school this fall and your words were very reassuring.

Your writing style is lovely... I'll definitely be checking back at some point to see if you keep writing. (I hope you do!)

-Lynn-Holly from ThreeSistersAttic.blogspot.com

Crystal said...

Thanks for your comment! I'm hoping to get back to blogging soon, I miss it.

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