The Dark Side and a Taste of the Apple

This morning at 7:45 I was arriving at work to get rockin and a rollin on one heck of a busy day. Not an every day occurrence, but not terribly out of the ordinary either. But LAST Friday morning at 7:45 I was in line at the Apple store to celebrate, participate, and commiserate over North Carolina’s final tax-free weekend.

After my laptop crashed, I made the decision it was high time to make the switch to a Mac. I’ve had three laptops in the past 10 years, and each of them gave me maybe one good year. The rest was pure frustration. Although my iPad is not perfect, it’s been much more reliable than Dell #1, Dell #2, or Compaq #1.

I have to say, so far I like my Mac. I-like-it-a-lot. Some things are more intuitive, and others I’m learning. The whole uploading photos is still a mystery, but I suspect (and have read) that has more to do with my p.o.s. (pardon the French) Samsung Charge – which Verizon has me locked into for another 100 years – than with my Mac. The biggest attraction for me is the long-term relationship. No more trading in every three years, getting acquainted, finding all the glitches and nuances. It’s exhausting. I plan to have my Mac for a very. long. time.

I’m not sure why, but several of you who are Mac owners have welcomed me to “the dark side,” as though Apple is some sinister spirit come to drain my soul. You can imagine, standing in line for nearly 2 hours, I got a little chatty with the folks around me. John, just ahead of me in line, was the first one to mention tds. I asked what he meant, given the fact that he was a fan and was standing in line right with me for two hours just to save 50 or a 100 bucks on tax. He said that was just it – you get sucked in and you can’t stop. I shook my head slowly, eyes wide, with that knowing look. Apple is like DSW shoe warehouse! Once you go, you’re constantly beckoned back. You can never get enough. Never! Well, I don’t know if that’s really what he meant, but I think about shoes a lot.

I told John that it seems to me Apple and Microsoft are both doing their fiscal thing – the difference is that Microsoft spurs spending by selling stuff that needs to be replaced on a regular basis and Apple does their part by selling stuff that makes you want more. Both good for the economy. Tomato tomato, right?

Aside from the couple of times I’ve waited in line on Black Friday at some ungodly hour in the a.m. and then on Thanksgiving evening a year later for some pretty foolish “door busters,” this was my first non-holiday wait in line experience (although some do consider tax-free weekend a holiday). The store opened at 8:00, and I arrived at 7:45 thinking that would be sufficient. It’s a weekday, not a national holiday, I’m good. There were maybe 30 people in line already. Geez Louise!

I see my place in line…right there at the end.

So stand in line I did. But once I was in, it was like going to Disney for the first time. I had never been in an Apple store before. I was taking time from work to do this, so I was feeling rushed and didn’t get to shop the store, but folks, it’s SO not Best Buy. It’s Apple. No offense BB, you serve your market well and I’m in that demo, but there’s something magical about the Apple store. It really does make you want to buy stuff. What they sell is not only beautiful, but truly necessary. I need a squishy hip case for my iPad, right? And the store is so sleek and clean. You know I’m a minimalist at heart. Hmm, maybe I’m clueing in to this dark side thing. Good thing I had to get to work!

The Apple bouncers. Ha!

The specialist who helped me, Suzie, was great. She asked what I needed the laptop for, didn’t try to sell me a bunch of stuff I didn’t need (because of course she knows I’ll be back to buy it anyway because it is, after all, the dark side), and within 10 minutes I had chosen, paid for, and was setting up my new Macbook Pro. Voila! Instant gratification. See, it IS like buying shoes!

Sweet Baby!
The line as I was leaving
First order of business at work –
selfie with my Mac 🙂

I walked out of there at 9:45 with a twinkle in my eye and a little swagger in my step as I passed by the next 100 or so people waiting in line with their eager and expectant faces. I know my Mac is just a computer, but I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship…