It Feels Like Stealing
May 1, 2011 § 1 Comment
I won’t lie. It was a big event. It warranted a lunch at Panera in celebration. It’s just not something that happens everyday, you know? My old computer (I get to call it my old computer now, so can you guess what this will be about?) was having problems. At first it started randomly turning off. Then we found out that it was because it was losing battery even while plugged in. I managed to fix it, sometimes, to keep using it. Adam perfected this magic where he’d rub his hand on the adapter really fast until maybe the static charge got it going again? But on Friday I plugged it in and heard this high pitched beeping noise coming from the adapter. When I twisted the wire coming out, it rose in pitch, and that was awesome because it definitely sounded like some overworked employee in China had rigged it with a bomb to go off after the mechanisms had malfunctioned.
My boyfriend and I had been talking about buying me a new computer for a while, even before these obvious problems had started. My computer was old and would freeze up in regular intervals when I’d been browsing the internet for too long or something. So, it was time for it to be put down or at least for it to be more gently used. I needed a computer to keep up with my WPM, okay?
We set Sunday for the day for a visit to Micro Center to get flash drives and a new computer, but yesterday we went to Staples for cardstock. While he was busy inspecting the paper to see if it would be thick enough for the cards for the game he’s currently working on, I said I would be over looking at the laptops. I wanted to shop around, see if they had anything I liked.
Well, they did.
Isn’t she beautiful? The biggest thing I tested was the feel of the keyboard. Ideally, I would have loved a Mac keyboard. They are so smooth! Have you ever tried one? It’s great. That’s what I was looking for. This keyboard is almost as smooth, and I also like that the keys aren’t raised over they keyboard, but they’re kind of sunk into it to an extent. Another thing I liked about this computer was the texture around the outside. It even goes over the touch pad area (which, incidentally, you can turn on and off) which is nice because I hate being able to tell when a computer is greasy. So neither the keys nor the touch pad and frame area show grease, the keyboard is smooth, and what else could I want?
At Staples, it was $499 with a $50 rebate. I almost bought it there, but we said we’d wait to go to Micro Center to see if they had a lower price.
So we went there today. The bus ride was an adventure, and it was annoying to Adam to walk with me when the store was in a mall area and we passed so many restaurants on the way and I asked him if he wanted to go to every one of them. I was hungry. Okay, okay, move the story along. Long story short, there was a gorgeous Samsung laptop there that I wanted even more than this one, but it came with a numberpad and I wasn’t too cool with the price. But! Micro Center had the price tag of $549 on this baby. So I asked the employee about it and told them the rebate price at Staples. Well he came back and told me that their price was $449 and that there was also a $30 mail-in rebate.
And then there was a pause. How do you tell someone you want to buy a computer? It felt so weird to me. I felt like there should be a lot of forms to sign, a lot of things required like when you apply for Federal Student Aid or sign a lease for an apartment. But no, I said I wanted to buy it, he tried to sell me extra insurance and a carrying case, and then told me it would be waiting for me at the register. I went there, told the man working I was going to buy a computer and as soon as I gave him my money, we were done.
It felt like stealing. It felt like I hadn’t undergone enough scrutiny. Who was I to make this purchase of this piece of equipment that cost over $400 dollars? This piece of equipment that could get dropped or have water spilled all over it at any moment? It was so risky, and they let me walk out of the store with it in a plastic bag? Out to the bus?
And home? Where I set it up and proceeded to re-download everything? I guess I just expected a little more guidance, but it made me realize that I’m not going to be coached by my parents anymore. There will be no “are you sure you want to spend your money on that?” over my shoulder and neither will there be questions from the salespeople who make their money from making me spend mine. It’s both liberating and confusing, but in any case I’m happy to have a new, working, fantastic laptop.
On a related note, I pick locks now. It’s really easy. No, really. I used a paper clip and a butter knife because Adam lost the locks to his safe and I had to get my passport out to make a copy. You stick the paper clip in to push up the tumblers (they are only on one side, where the pointy parts of the key are) and then you use the butter knife to turn the lock. AND WHOO, NOW YOU CAN GO TO PRAGUE AGAIN! Or at least, I can. Had to turn in a copy of the passport to the office to go! I’m very excited.
Now just let this blog fade out…