Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Downside of the Digital Age

It's 6am. I'm surrounded by other early risers, sitting on beach chairs, blankets or, like me, a sidewalk that reeks faintly of pee.

Homeless people sleep sitting up on metal benches enjoying the last moments of peace before noisy crowds gather at the weekly farmer's market. One man severs the quiet as he pushes a squeaky shopping cart filled with his soiled possessions.

Some of us are listening to headphones, sipping coffee from paper cups, reading the paper, perusing scripts (this is LA). All of us are waiting for the new iPhone.

I am number 9. Numbers 1, 2, and 3 arrived at 3am. Last night, we saw the"green light" on Apple's website indicating new phones were in. The man in front of me tells me that if the green light is on it means they have at least 10 phones. So I'm good.

I've come a long way since yesterday when I showed up at 9am thinking I was smart to arrive a good hour before the store's opening. Little did I know that under these trying, iPhone deprived times, the store opened at 8am. Phones were sold out by 8:15.

My saga began over the weekend at BlogHer. I normally keep my phone in my purse but being away from my natural habitat, in noisy ballrooms and conferences, I put my phone in my back pocket on vibrate. During a bathroom break, when the phone hit the water before anything else, I quickly realized this was not a good idea.

I won't bore anyone (too much) by telling you of the depressing and frustrating afternoon that followed as I ran around the city in search of a new iPhone EXCEPT to say that after waiting over an hour at the Apple store the man in front of me purchased the very LAST iPhone in stock. I offered up my desperate story of a mother in a faraway city cut off from the two, young children she loved so dearly (I also flirted and offered up sexual favors) but he opted for the phone instead. I won't bore you (too much) by telling you of the lost night of camaraderie and mayhem (one that I'd looked forward to for months) as I ate room service food alone because I no longer had the phone numbers of new friends and could not fit shoes over my blistered and swollen feet.

So, here I am, days later, my ass on piss-covered cement, a savvy iPhone connoisseur, the early bird who catches the worm. Everyone around me has their own war stories. Two people arrived at stores before sunrise the day before, numbers 26 and 30 on line, to learn upon the store's opening that only 25 phones came in. Justin, the absolutely beautiful guy seated next to me (I coveted this guy's complexion) had camped out overnight in a less desirable part of town for the honor of being one of the first to own the new iPhone. A few days ago, someone stole it.

All of a sudden my saga lost it's edge. Like going to an Ivy League school after graduating valedictorian only to swim in a huge sea of other valedictorians.

Joggers, business people, police took pity on us, were curious about us. One even thought we were part of a movie shoot (I said this was LA). Annoying people joined the line breaking our sense of community (however temporary). A chain smoker accosted our fragile morning senses, a man continuously cracked the silence by scolding his (not too) wayward Yorkie.

By 7:30am, over a hundred people lined up. The empty streets were now peppered with people on their way to work and Starbucks. The homeless were camouflaged by business suits, bicycles, and laptops.

Apple was gracious as they handed out bottled water, gave friendly advice, and made an inconvenient situation tolerable, even enjoyable.

By 10:30am, I had my new iPhone synced up and ready to go. My contacts, calendar, music, podcasts - everything - was once again portable and in my hot little hand.

I felt like me again.

*I would have shown you my own pictures of this morning's adventure but I took them on my temporary phone and once the iPhone was activated I could no longer transfer them. Oh well, small price to pay.

**photos courtesy of Google Images


Manic Mommy said...

The picture part cracked me up above all else. We are slaves to our gadgets.

I am still experiencing my S issues plus there's some sort of 'product key' issue with the laptop which suddenly prevented me from using MS Word. As a result, I had to sit in front of the desktop with my laptop open to manually retype my 100 list.

Better living through technology?

Always Home and Uncool said...

Being technologically obsolete has its advantages ... such as sleeping in. Enjoy your toy.

Connie said...

YAY!! I'm so glad that you got your iPhone replaced!

I'm so pleased with mine and I wish now that I had gotten a first generation phone when hubby did.

But good things come to those who wait and now I have 3G and he doesn't.

I'm still looking for cool accessories.....

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

I'm sooooo behind the times. I'll probably get an iPhone in 5 years, when they come free with my contract renewal.

cpckqueen said...

there is no hope for me. i will continue to stay behind the times. i still have a 3rd generation ipod (click wheel, gray screen) and just a blackberry.

Christine said...

I'm way behind the times, too. I want an iPhone SO much!

And a new camera.

And a laptop.

I feel so bad you ate room service all alone! That is just wrong!

Magpie said...

at blogher, the woman on line in front of me on Friday got the last bluetooth headset. but i scored one on Saturday. persistence...we have persistence.

happy to have met you in SF.

ByJane said...

so, is it better than the old ones??? Should I start lusting???

slouching mom said...

you are MOTIVATED!

Immoral Matriarch said...

I want an iPhone. :(

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Boy, if I had a nickel for every iPhone-in-the-toilet story I've heard...
I'd have a nickel.

Good N Crazy said...

Nice story...glad it's over. I feel so traumatized for you...

But I'm totally bummed about not getting to see the pics!

JCK said...

What we will do for our gadgets. And they are so divine. And I just know this from your description!

ShannanB said...

WHOOOO HOOOOO! I am so glad you survived the battle and came home with a phone.

Maggie, Dammit said...

Where I live, I can't have an iPhone because we don't have AT&T coverage in the boonies.

So I just press my iPod Touch and my BlackBerry super tightly together, pour merlot over their union, put on a little Marvin Gaye, and hope for the best.

the mama bird diaries said...

Being connected is so fabulous. Now keep that iPhone out of the back pocket. Yeah, yeah.. I've done it too.

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