You’ve been a part of my adult life for as long as I can remember. I love that melodic F Major chord you sing when I turn you on. We have come of age together although I am older than you are. I still remember the pencil and paper and ballpoint pen. I was attracted to you after I wrote my first doctoral prelim by hand and then paid a typist an outrageous fee to prepare it for me. I was determined not to do that again for my second prelim and dissertation. You came into my life around that time and have been trusted partner ever since.
I remember my first Commodore 64. You became my Apple II E, and then you morphed into a snazzy Blueberry housed in a plastic shell with a handle that I could carry around – although you were heavy. You gradually became smaller and lighter. You became comfortably portable. I could slip a disc into your side to save data and also plug a USB cable into your ports.
Now I can have you with me all the time and store my entries on a cloud somewhere … somewhere in my imagination you are also up in the sky where the angels keep track of everything – making my writing immortal. You are reliable, you have a terrific memory, and I am constantly amazed at how much you know. By now I am used to you being at my beck and call 24/7. You have spoiled me. Apple, over the years you have become an important part of my life and I depend on you a lot. Maybe too much.
Through many years together we have developed a monogamous relationship – I have never strayed to the PC. You have gotten me through two prelims and my dissertation not to mention my book and numerous published articles. We often have collaborated late into the night. We have gone through many edits. Together we have become wi fi and also been able to share increased hours unplugged and unfettered from sockets and wall outlets. You are amazing – you are like the energizer bunny – you never wear out. You keep getting better.
Which brings me to the point of this letter I’m writing to you. Yes, it’s about our amazing relationship. But just when I became adjusted to you as my MacBook Pro, my husband surprised me with a brand new MacBook Air. He is not a jealous type of guy and wanted me to enjoy our connection more fully. You were purported to be even smaller but more powerful, lighter to carry around but had the ability to handle more information. And you were reported to be quick and responsive.
But in order to be your up to date date, I had to separate from your old model that I had come to trust so deeply. You had to have a ………DATA TRANSFER! I had to relinquish my Pro to the pros at the Apple Store for a procedure that would give you my life entrusted on your hard drive. My MacBook Pro held all my secrets and documents in its files. I diligently and obsessively saved them on multiple flash drives and backed them up on my external hard drive. Would the Air be as heavenly as the silver lining of the cloud you promised?
But the time had come when I needed a lighter laptop to carry on my travels and use at my presentations. My dear husband believed I would enjoy the light as Air MacBook. So my birthday came 6 months early this year – and I didn’t have to get a year older when he gave you to me as an unexpected gift. A generous man you say correctly – because you have stolen many hours from him since you and I keep company for long periods of time.
Mac Air, you are sleek, indeed – and very compelling in every way. After all, you are still Apple – the apple of my eye, my trustworthy writing companion, and my social media buff.
But getting a new you means I had to also change to a new me. First I had to hand over your ancestor, the MacBook Pro, to the staff at the Apple Store. They assured me that you (and I) would be in good care – Apple Care plus became a must in my mind to protect both of us. And so, having taken all safety precautions, I let the old you go for the overnight procedure. You would emerge as my new fresh Air.
I did not hand you over without some trepidation, Apple, because I know from experience, this data change-over – even for a new and better you – would come with some initial glitches and a learning curve. Sure enough, it was tricky when I brought you home. I had my share of anxiety in the first few hours and days of our new relationship. Let me tell you about it.
First of all, rationally I know that there are a slew of experts at the Apple Store who can fix any problem I encounter with you. They do not react (visibly) to my urgent pleas but rather they stoically enter a few magic strokes on your keyboard and you respond. In the first four days of our new relationship, I became rather intimate with your Apple family – especially the Geniuses at the Genius Bar. They are as amazing as you are, dear Mac Air (hope you don’t mind I’m starting to call you Mac Air instead of the more formal Apple). This was clear to me in my greatest moment of angst when, trying to send an e-mail when I took you home, I could not connect to the internet.
After trying as I might to figure out our connection problem on the phone with help of the cable company’s support staff located somewhere in the universe, I closed your lid and blew mine. How could you betray me this way? In a snit, unable to process your refusal to connect me with the world, I drove to the Apple store, where, in the midst of a hoard of customers jamming the aisles, I announced to the Greeter that I was having a meltdown and needed to see a Genius ASAP.
With a calm demeanor he assured me I would be taken care of. Sure enough, I was. Despite giving up an entire morning to work on a paper whose deadline was yesterday, I finally had you back – responding– or so I thought.
Then I tried to send an e-mail on your cousin, my iPhone, and realized that I was not receiving messages nor could I reach the outside world. Apple, I’d had enough!!!!………I was out of touch with everyone (including you), you wouldn’t listen to me – I felt alone. You shut me out. Mac Air, you can’t do this to me.
I drove back to the Apple store.
Problem solved. The Geniuses started to know my name before I signed in.
By now, you and I had spent 4 days together – much of the time in the Apple store at the Genius Bar – hardly a honeymoon.
Now you were up and purring, I calmed down, and I started to get the hang of you. I scheduled an appointment with the One on One staff to learn more of the mysteries beneath your shell, if I could hold out until then. I thought I could.
I am ready to admit that I’m getting accustomed to you all over again – your quirks, your speed, your reliability, and your incredible capacity. Mac Air, believe it or not, you have taught me some important lessons about myself.
I realize that indeed you are my trusted companion – when I felt you didn’t hear me I felt bereft. I panicked when I could not communicate or use my e-mail or get on the web or get messages from colleagues and friends (yes I still have relationships with people besides you). I came to realize that I felt alone in the world as I had felt as a child long ago– then in a painful life-changing transition. That, too, was a time of confusion with gaps in communication I could not understand. My relationship with you evoked early losses when I didn’t have the ability to figure it out on my own. Back then there was no Genius Bar. No Apps.
I’ve simmered down after getting a grip on my memories. I don’t have to figure it out on my own with you. The Genius Bar folks became kind-of like my analyst – reliable, a good listener, nonjudgmental, and offered me new ways of understanding to get me on track (or you would say on-line) again.
Mac Air, we both have changed over the years. Now I can enjoy my documents and e-mails and Powerpoints and all the other functions we share. You represent much more to me than a sleek machine. You connect me to the world and to myself.