I wore my black tulle skirt and my shiny red shoes and I bought an iPad .
I got there at about five (PM – after work) and nearly gave up without even getting in line; the queue was down the whole block and then curved back. But I was determined–I needed that iPad before I left for London! With the wait for shipping from an online order sure to be weeks long, my only hope was to snag one at the store.
As I said, I got there at five. There was a kid at the front who had been standing in line since seven in the morning. Can you believe it? He had a whole day to spend just sitting there. Did he really NEED an iPad? I mean, with his lack of responsibilities, it couldn’t have been that urgent. At least not as urgent as it was for ME. Right? My purchase, my insistence-on-waiting-in-line (though I knew my chances of actually getting one were slim at this point), was justified.
People were driving by taking pictures and videos of all the crazy people who would stand in such a line to get the iPad the very day it came out (pictures and videos WITH their iPhones, of course). I thought about the likelihood of every single person in line buying an iPad (or two – we were allowed up to two); the less individuals who bought one, the better my chances. There were kids as young as four or five years old in that line–SURELY they were not getting an iPad. Surely….? I began to feel slightly hostile toward these children.
Every time one of the smiling blue-shirted employees came down the line to make an announcement, everyone was completely still and quiet, including the little kids–I am certain some of us were holding our breath.
The AT&T 3G models were the first to go. The Verizon ones quickly followed. Thank God I was just planning on wireless capabilities. My biggest fear was that everyone would buy up the cheap 16 GB ones fast. I couldn’t afford a larger harddrive, but my hands were tied; it was get one today or not at all.
It’s funny how quickly it became something I desperately needed, like an oxygen ration. The other people in line simply didn’t understand my situation; I was going out of the country. I was deserving. As things started looking more grim, I contemplated going up to the front of the line and saying oh, but excuse me, I need this: I’m going to London. Surely they would understand. They HAD to. It might be my only option.
A blue-shirt came walking authoritatively down the line, numbering off each person as he went. The line watched him intently; he held our fate in his hands. When he passed me, I felt so much relief that I noticed I could feel my legs again, not having realized I couldn’t before. He got about ten or fifteen people behind me when he drew an imaginary line with his hand and said, “If every person in line buys one iPad, the people ahead of this point will get one.”
There were murmers of excitement and worry. Oh my God… I could get one! Could I get one? Is this realistic? What if everyone buys two? What if even ten people buy two; wait, how many people are behind me–what are my chances? Did he count children? WHAT IS THE AGE CUT OFF FOR HIS COUNTED STATUS? He better have counted children. The kids around here are spoiled brats, of COURSE their families are buying them each iPads. Two each. I’m not getting one. I really should have brought a snack…
Ten minutes later, maybe less, it was magic. Another blue-shirt was making his way down the line with a box; I saw some cards remaining. He was close to me, and there were cards left! More than enough to make it to my place in line. When he was two people ahead of me, I heard the blue-shirt say, “I’ve got 16, black or white.” My heart jumped, and somehow that action was vocalized in my throat. I forgot all about my worries and dinner and was nearly jumping off the pavement. The blue-shirt got a huge grin from me as I chipped “white!” and took my ticket.
The rest of the wait I was cheerful as could be. Even as it grew dark and I grew tired and hungry, continuing to fight a cold, I was getting my extremely expensive Apple product. When I finally got my hands on the shiny new toy, the lady who helped me set it up told me to “go get some sleep.” I guess I looked even worse than I felt.
But that’s okay, because Apple made a giant iPad complete with giant iPad cases for the window display:
All is now well with the world. I still need to figure out how to use my WordPress iPad app though – I typed this entry at the airport on my way to London (more on that later!), but couldn’t post it til now (weeks later) because I couldn’t insert the pictures.