I am not too terribly into techology. I like my computer, but I’m lucky if I even know how to turn it on, let alone use it. It’s a good thing I have a Mac rather than something incredibly difficult to use….like a PC…anyway, onward with my story. Not only am I unable to use my VCR (yes, I do still own one. You see how backwards I really am…), but I have absolutely no idea how to use the remote control for the cable box. I can hit the button to change the channel, but that’s pretty much it. Of course, the older children like this for it means they always have ultimate control of what we watch.
This lack of technological know how also has manifested itself in the area of cellular phones. I hate talking on the phone in general, so having a mobile has never been a priority for me. When I did finally get one, it was one of those pre-paid ones with nary a bell or whistle to be had. I was fairly content with this, for I only needed it to call home and make sure everyone was alright, or see if we needed anything else from the grocery store. That’s it. No bells or whistles required. But as of 11 July, that was all going to change. Not for me, mind you…at least not entirely…but for Mr Izz. Why 11 July, you might ask? 11 July was the day millions of people, including Mr Izz, were awaiting with bated breath…it was the day that Apple’s iPhone 3G was to make it’s much anticipated grand entrance into every Apple and AT&T Store in the country. Mr Izz had been counting down the days…wait, no. The hours…until he could go to our local AT&T Store to get his. For months we had to deal with his excitement and endless reminders of “how much longer.” The week before it’s debut was all about the press releases, and based on what I had to hear, it seemed like everyone and their dog was writing about the new iPhone.
When 11 July did finally arrive, he was like a little kid, all excited about Christmas. He wanted me to go with him at 8:30am to the AT&T Store to get his phone, so after a quick cup of coffee, I went…I had no breakfast, by the way. But since I was assured that we’d be right in and out, I didn’t need to worry. Bad move on my part…very bad.
As we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed the line of about 20 or so people that had gotten there earlier than we did. Apparently one guy had been there since 5am…at an AT&T Store in our little podunk town. OURS!! Unbelievable…I did, at this time, express my concerns in regard to how many people were ahead of us, but was very quickly informed that every press release he had read said not to worry…each store would have more than enough. Right…
We take our spot in line, and Mr Izz tells the AT&T guy which phone he’s getting. We figured he was taking a count to see if he’d have enough, but no. An hour and a half later, he comes back out (after 5 or so people had gone in to get theirs, I might add) to tell us that all of the phones Mr Izz wants are now gone. An hour and a half! We waited in line only to find out he wasn’t going to get it. “Why not take the 8G instead of the 16G?” I ask. “Why get something I don’t want?” he replies. I heave a sigh as he relinquishes his spot in line, and reluctantly follow him to the car.
“What are you going to do?” I ask. “Go home, and wait until tomorrow when we’re in Watertown and get it.” Now, this is where I made a huge mistake, and where the Quest for the iPhone truly begins. I said to him: “But they’ve almost run out of all the ones they had here entirely. By tomorrow, there probably won’t be any in Watertown either.”
What I said made sense. I knew it did, and so did he. So when we got home, rather than go to his office to work, he gets a few items (we can call them Quest Items…it makes it all sound far more exciting, don’t you think?) and informs the kids that he and I are going to Watertown. Amid protests and general whining from the Izzlets, he ushers me away from the cupboard where I am about to get a bowl of cereal, and drags me out to the car. Still no breakfast…SIGH! We pull out of the driveway and set off on our Quest, all the while hoping it’s not in vain.
The drive was pleasant enough. Boring, but pleasant…at least until I got us lost in downtown Watertown. We ended up way south of where we needed to be, so we had to back track. Not that getting lost was in any way exciting, but at least it broke things up a bit. Too bad I am unable to foretell the future…back tracking would have been unnecessary.
We finally pull into the AT&T Store in Watertown and the first thing I notice is the lack of a line. At first I was happy we wouldn’t have to wait again, until it dawned on me that no line more than likely meant no phones. Sure enough, as soon as we walked in we were informed they had sold out half an hour ago. So close…”Oh well! At least we tried! Let’s get going home…” I said. But going home was not the order of business. “We’re going to Syracuse, to the Apple Store” he informed me. Syracuse?! That was another hour and a half away! This really was starting to seem like a quest. Mr Izz and the Quest for the iPhone 3G. Movie material? Probably not, but it was enough of a quest for me to wish I had my Indiana Jones hat and whip. At least then I could pretend. Besides, that hat is way cool.
Next to the AT&T store is a Starbucks, so Mr Izz graciously offered to buy me a mocha or something. Yes, I do know he was trying to bribe me into caffeine induced happiness to counter my Quest induced grumpiness, but I’m not strong enough to resist such a temptation. Besides, it was the closest I was going to get to breakfast for at least another couple of hours. So after a quick pit stop in the ladies room, and a raspberry latté to go, I quite willingly climbed back into the car to continue on our Quest, Part III.
There isn’t much to say about the getting there, so I won’t. But get there we did, Mr Izz’s eyes shining with hopeful anticipation…even when he saw the line that went around the railing in front of the Apple Store, which was on the second floor of the mall. “Another line…” I sighed. More standing and waiting…perhaps to come away with nothing once again. But Mr Izz was ecstatic. “We get to be a part of the whole iPhone experience this way!!” he said gleefully. “Oh yay” I said, obviously not convinced.
Remarkably, waiting wasn’t all that horrible. The people in line around us were fun to talk to. You see, our Quest was shared by all there…we were all comrades on a mission, and that camaraderie forged a temporary bond of friendship. The people walking through the mall wondering why we were all in line didn’t understand, as they walked away scoffing and shaking their heads at us. But our comrades did understand…we all celebrated when one of our comrades hit a waiting milestone: when one of us reached the escalator, or when one of us rounded the corner, or finally when one of us was able to sit on the blue bench in front of the store. As each of us hit a milestone, there was an air of jubilance over the achievement. For we all understood…we were in this together until the bitter end. Although, I had warned Mr Izz that the end had better be anything but bitter. I must admit that even I got caught up in it all to a certain extent. We all talked, laughed and expressed our excitement…because of this, the time flew. Before too long (2 hours to be exact) we were the next to go in. Almost there…Mr Izz could hardly contain himself. The last leg of our iPhone Quest was upon us!
When they called us into the store, Mr Izz bolted in. He gave his “order” and was presented with the cutest little bag which contained his new toy…erm…iPhone. We then had to be connected with the AT&T network…this is where the big problems…well, the NEXT portion of the big problems…came into play. AT&T decided to try to thwart our efforts and prevent us from finishing our quest. For whatever reason, we were unable to connect to the network, therefore the phone was unusable. Over and over we tried, but we were continually rejected. But their evil plan of nonconnection was futile…after an hour and a half of trying to get it all up and running, his iPhone was fully functional. He walked out of the Apple Store with it in his hand, and the biggest smile on his face. He had completed his Quest, despite all attempts to prevent him from doing so. And while I sat int he restaurant (breakfast at last! At 5pm….SIGH!), watching him play with his new toy, I was happy. Yes, happy because it was finally over and he had his phone, but mostly because he was happy. Despite all the hassles, it was kinda cool to be one of the Quest seekers; to live the whole experience. I’m sure it’s something I’ll tell my grandchildren…or not.
You might wonder how this whole saga got me into the 21st Century…how it all ties in to my initial paragraph. Let me explain…Mr Izz’s getting an iPhone meant I had to get a mobile as well (family plans are cheaper and all that). A real one, with bells, whistles and cool ringtones to boot! Oh, and a camera. Plus, it’s pink, which is coolness all in of itself. I’m so hip now, I can hardly stand it. So, while it’s not an iPhone, it’s still cool. I mean, come on! It’s PINK. Need I say more? I now just have to figure out how to use it…maybe the kids will teach me. Hmmmm…..