I began to flirt with the idea of owning my own Apple laptop shortly after graduating college. Sadly, my $8 an hour salary (without benefits) would not permit such an expense, so I opted for the next best thing, e-Bay. Let me say that when you have a computer history like mine buying any electronic device sight unseen from E-bay is recipe for lost files.
This, however, did not cross my mind and instead I began scouring E-bay in pursuit of the mother of all Apple deals. After countless hours of hunting I found the perfect deal on an old school Apple Powerbook. I was stoked. With credit card in hand I bid what was the most I could possibly charge. And then I waited. I watched as people kept bidding against me, my maximum bid always trumping theirs. During the last 10 minutes of the auction I logged onto E-bay to watch my certain victory. As I waited, I reviewed the computer information and what did I see? This computer had a foreign keyboard. How could this be! My mind raced – I had researched everything about this purchase yet still overlooked something so obvious!
Let us recap – I made $8 an hour. No overtime. No benefits. I did not have money for a computer to begin with. Let alone a computer with a foreign keyboard.
I’m not a particularly religious person, but I do recall saying a little prayer. Within the very last seconds of the auction I was overbid. I was saved and vowed to adopt a life of financial responsibility that would start with NOT buying a computer. I promptly called my friend Sparrow and arranged to meet for a drink celebrating my newfound financial stability.
Time passed and my love for the Apple computer quickly overwhelmed any attempts at budgeting. Once again I returned to e-bay, bid on a computer and lost. This happened more times than I can count.
When I lived in Birmingham and had a “big girl job” with benefits I revisited the idea of getting an Apple. I had learned since the E-bay days that the way to buy a computer is not sight unseen, nor to purchase from a friend of a friend, nor to rely on a boyfriend to “build one.” And so I went to the online Apple Store and filled out the paperwork for a loan. I received a credit card with a $400 limit, not even a quarter of the cost of this brand new computer.
Hurt, offended and a little concerned about my credit score, I cut the card up and came to terms with the fact that I was not Apple material. Two weeks later, I paid cash for a Dell.
Many years later, now a married “responsible” adult with a job that provides decent pay and something they claim to be “health benefits,” I found myself once again without a computer. One night while lamenting to Jay about the woes of being computerless, he said, “Let’s get you an Apple then. You need it for what you do.”
I stared at him. He did not just say that. Did he?
But the expense… I countered.
He continued to woo me with the idea of my own Apple and by the end of the evening we had made the decision: the next day I would take a small consumer loan and purchase a refurbished MacBook Pro.
The rest happened very quickly, with lots of signatures and a good deal of indigestion. Five days later I sat on my cheap Swedish furniture and carefully opened a luxurious new MacBook. The heavens sang… actually I think it was Apple’s fancy “welcome to your new computer” song and dance, but whatever… I am proud to say that this computer is worth every one of the 12 monthly payments. It is fast. It is beautiful. It makes my photos look unbelievable. It will run the programs I actually use on a daily basis. And most importantly, it does not have a foreign keyboard.