There are relatively few purchases one makes in life where congratulations are received. I got many congratulations upon buying my first new car. I imagine I’ll get pats on the back and kudos all around on the day I finally buy a house. But it takes a special kind of product to invoke the congratulations of friends and strangers when it is really not that much bigger than a deck of cards.
My birthday was about a week and a half ago. While I am not much of a fan of birthdays anymore, my wife is. Some people enjoy showing love through gifts, and my wife is one of them. On the hunt for the perfect gift for occasions near and far, Jessica has paid close attention to my browsing habits as we have trawled the flourescent aisles of today’s modern superstores.
There was only one thing I consistently stopped and gazed at with a sappy look on my face.
My birthday came, and Jessica asked me one last time if I really wanted this object of my desire. She really wanted to get it for me. I wrestled with the choice for days—maybe weeks. Though we are neither wealthy nor poor, I ultimately choked on the price tag and opted for an equally nice gift at a slightly lesser cost to the ol’ family checkbook. No sense in being greedy, I said.
A week went by and my new stereo shelf unit was getting good mileage. My beloved Philips stereo had broken in the move to Plano (translation: I dropped it while setting it up) and I was happy with the flood of bass-saturated decibels once again filling our apartment. Still, there was this nagging voice in the back of my mind saying, “You know what you really want. Sony can’t scratch that itch.”
I resisted as long as I could. One night I found myself in the grips of insomnia. I tossed and turned, watched Opie’s dad hock SMC on TV, confirmed that Channel 27 really does show Fear Factor every single hour of the day, and fought the urge to give in to my silly desires. But, like a miniature poodle in a Hulk Hogan headlock, I finally got sacked. The next evening we boxed up my stereo and returned it to the store for the inevitable exchange.
Friends, there’s just no resisting the iPod. Once its pristine white and chrome casing comes within reach, Steve Jobs launches an army of frenzied nanoprobes into your eyesockets, refusing your ability to see anything else. They chatter on and on until you give in. And I couldn’t be happier about that. Because Apple has built an entire experience around iPod. It’s like a club. Or a higher plateau of musical dedication. Curse you, Steve! I’m ever closer to becoming a full-fledged Mac addict (be quick about pumping out those G5 Powerbooks, will ya?).