Last week I decided to spend my lunch hour at the mall. People watching get my creative juices flowing. I don’t know why I just wrote that because it is so cliché and there is only so much creativity that can be juiced but I haven’t written anything for a couple of weeks and I need to get back into my habit of daily writing.
Since I am entitled to an upgrade, I decided to visit the Apple store to peruse the latest iphones before going to AT&T to renew my data plan. I like to think that I know a little about the device I have been using for the past three years, but in truth it is as much of a mystery to me today as it was when I bought it. Oh sure, I can make a call, answer a call, send a text, take a picture or research something on the Internet and recharge it, hey maybe I do know a lot.
I was stunned to see the amount of customers milling about the store in the middle of the day in the middle of the week. This Eden was packed with Apple fans, faces aglow staring into monitors large and larger with eyes intent on accessing information for what I don’t know. One look at the technology on display sent the notion that I had any understanding of it scurrying.
I walked past the iMacs, lined up like soldiers at attention and ready for active duty. The Macbook pros stared back at me with ingenious arrogance just daring me to take an ignorant whack at them. Ipads and Ipad mini’s took up large islands of counter space for freer access. I smirked at the thought that they were named after feminine products.
A friendly voice came from behind. “May I help you?”
I turned to face a young man who barely looked to be sixteen.
“I’m interested in upgrading my phone and I would like to see the newer models.”
“What are you using now?”
Luckily I didn’t have to dig through my wastebasket of a purse, my phone was in hand. “This.” I proudly held it up.
“Wow, that’s a sturdy case, do you work in construction?”
“No, I don’t, but I can’t trust myself with electronics and the salesman told me if I threw my phone it wouldn’t break.”
“Do you throw your phone often?” He grinned.
I stared dumbly at his forehead and wondered if I threw my phone at it if it would leave a mark.
“Just kidding,” he snorted. “Is that a 3G?”
“You know you were due for an upgrade a long time ago? That model is really old.”
Suddenly I felt like a rodeo clown at a mime convention. I glanced at a young girl standing nearby, oblivious to her surroundings. She was deftly typing a message with her thumbs. The average hummingbird pecks at the rate of 20 per second and I swear this little girl was faster than that.
“Yeah, that’s why I’m here…just looking.”
“Okay, ma’am, let me know if you need any help.”’
I hate that. When did I turn into a ma’am? Probably when Microsoft and Apple began their war and I was caught by friendly fire. When the lead pencil and ball point pen became a threatened accessory and typewriters ended up in the junkyard.
I watched the girl’s thumbs scroll, twirl and pirouette until she glanced up and promptly turned her back to me. She’ll be sorry when she gets older and those texting thumbs turn into arthritic stumps. Texting thumb will be the new carpel tunnel syndrome and evolution will have to compensate by transforming infant thumbs into bamboo styluses.
I type with my index finger, slowly poking at the screen, often deleting fat finger typos and swearing at my phone for trying to correct my spelling and often putting wrong words in my messages. I usually get several text messages asking if I am okay before I successfully send one back. Maybe I am hesitant to speed up because my parents would have thrown a tizzy if I touched the TV screen when I was growing up. It’s conditioning. I was also warned I would go blind if I sat too close to the screen but now everywhere I look there are people with their noses pressed up against their iglass.
I turned to leave and take my sour grapes with me out of the Apple store. Lunch was almost over and I needed to get something to eat. I settled for a hot dog on a stick. At least I know how that works.