I stood at the counter of the Starbucks, waiting for my mobile order. The ordering line was long and as usual and I could feel the eyes of those in the line on me, watching that I just walked in the door, right past all of them and straight to the pick up counter to collect my order.
Get the mobile app I thought to myself glancing quickly at the line of coffee junkies needing their mid-afternoon fix. Me? I’m not a coffee junkie. The barista called my name and handed me my frosty, half-calf, sugar free caramel, coconut milk, grande, frappuccino with caramel drizzle, no whip. Taking a straw from the fixings’ counter, I walked past the line of haters without looking at them, when someone called my name.
“Hey Basil”. I looked up to see an acquaintance and instantly regretted that I saw him.
“Hey! Good to see you.” I said, smiling and continuing my momentum towards the door so I would appear as if I was rushing out to an imaginary appointment. I didn’t feel like standing there and talking with him in front of all these strangers in the line, so I asked no questions, hoping the single statement meant the encounter was over.
“How’d you get your order so fast?” he asked
“Mobile app.” I said, holding up my iPhone to indicate that the app was on my phone, as if the words mobile and app together apparently meant something else to other people.
“Oh, I just used it for the first time. I thought I still had to line up.”
“Nope. Just go straight to the order counter and pick it up.” I said, thankful that he would have to leave the line and go over to the pick up counter to get his order so I could quickly slip out to my car and speed away as fast as I could.
It’s not that I didn’t want to talk with him … well … that’s a lie. I didn’t want to talk to him. It’s not that I didn’t like him … well … that’s a lie. I didn’t on both counts. He is a friend of a friend that I meet every year at a dinner party my friend holds, and he is usually there. I avoid him at every party. He’s one of those people that everything he has or does is better than everything else and has an opinion on everything. He will ask your opinion on something, only to shut you down and try to make you look like an ignorant dimwit on any subject.
He loves it when people argue with him and it only makes him worse. It somehow makes him feel superior. I avoid him or if he asks anything, I just stay neutral or turn the question back to him for his opinion first. I let him justify his opinion first, then just say OK with no opinion of my own.
I started for the door when he grabbed my arm.
Did you just grab me? Oh no you didn’t!
“Hold up. I haven’t seen you since last July. Give a minute to grab my order”. He said.
Shit I thought. I wanted to say that I was in a hurry, but it would have been too obvious. Be nice. Basil, Be Nice. He got his order and we walked to the entrance and stood just outside of the door. It was hot, so I remote started my car to cool it down, hoping that he might take the hint that I needed to leave.
“Nice car. Yours?” He asked.
“Why you pay for that?”
Are you really asking me my personal business?
“You use the remote start feature?”
No dumb ass, my car saw me come out the store and started itself up.
“When it’s hot like this to cool it down, or in winter to heat it up”. Why was I explaining myself to this idiot?
“Waste of gas, don’t you think?”
“More like bad for the environment” I said, taking a sip of my delicious frap and smirking at him.
“So why do it?”
Because I want to get away from you. I didn’t respond, just shrugged.
“So how’s life?” he asked, desperately trying to force a conversation. I glanced at my watch.
“I’m good, but I should get going …”
“Is that an Apple Watch?”
Here we go. What have you got to say about it?
“You like it?”
No. That’s why it’s on my forearm, so I can just remind myself everytime I glance at it, of what an idiot I am for buying this thing.
“It works for my needs” I said.
“What do you use it for?”
Oh no, you aren’t going to get me to fall into that trap!
“Not familiar with it? Go on Apple.com and you can see all the features” I said, having no desire to explain the watch’s functions to him.
“No, I know what it does.” He said, a little anger in his tone as he realized I was being evasive.
So what are you asking me for if you already know?
“I was just wondering what you use it for as I can’t justify paying $700.00 for it?” he asked.
Who the hell cares what your spending issues are? Do you pay my salary?
“This is the sport. It’s about $300.00”
“Still, I Can’t justify that amount of money for something that I can just use my iPhone for.”
It’s not just a watch. It does so much more. It accurately keeps a track of my heartbeat during the day, and because I have heart failure, I need to keep a track of it. But it isn’t any of your business, is it? The app let’s me know when my heart beat is approaching above a set parameter so that I know to slow down, otherwise my defibrillator is going to shock the crap out of me and send me flying across the room. I wear it approximately 22 hours a day. I love it.
I use it as a timer when I am at work, just raise it and tell SIRI to set the timer. I tell it to send texts to co-workers without having to wash my hands in the middle of cooking to get my phone , etc. I get notices on it and just glance without having to have my watch ding and ping and annoy everyone around me. It just buzzes on my arm and I feel it. It wakes me in the morning with just a buzz on my arm without having to wake my wife who gets up after me. It keeps track of my sleep and I know whether I had good sleep or not. If I get up to go to the bathroom, it notes what time too. It tells me what my heart rate was during the night and my doctor was impressed, because he was able to use the information. It reminds me when its time to drink water, because I will forget sometimes. It helps me to breathe by pacing me with breathing exercises. It tracks my daily activity. It does a lot of shit that I don’t have the time or desire to talk to you about, because I don’t work for Apple or own their stock, so helping them sell their watches is no benefit to me.
“Well, to each his own” I said.
“No but seriously, can you really justify its value?”
“Look at it this way, I can’t justify paying $14,000.00 for a watch that all it does is tell time” I said, pointing to the Rolex on his wrist.
“It’s an investment” he said defensively.
“So is mine” I said. In me.