I’ve been resisting so hard.
I’ve been telling myself no, no, no; you don’t need it.
But myself started answering back: “I have to at least take a look, don’t I? It’s new. And I haven’t been to an Apple store in a long time.”
So it was that I took myself off to an Apple store to see the alleged wizardry of Apple’s latest, completely redesigned M2 MacBook Air.
It was barely twenty seconds before a very enthusiastic salesperson sidled up and introduced himself. Did I need help, he wondered. So much, I replied.
I had already begun to stare at the midnight-colored M2 Air and was surprised at how blue it seemed. And how lovely. And how different from all the other colors Apple has used for previous Airs. I was already teetering on the brink.
How cool is this? Well, quite cool, I suppose.
I explained that I currently have an M1 Air. This spurred the salesman into immediate patter.
“This one’s completely redesigned,” he began. “Look how different the menu bar is. It’s so neat compared to the old Air.”
At this, he proceeded to show me how the cursor slid under the notch at the top as if by, um, magic.
“You see? How cool is that?” he said, with all the enthusiasm of a trainee magician.
“But there’s a bloody great notch there,” I quietly offered.
“Yeah, but you don’t really notice it, do you?”
“Well, now you mention it, yes I do, but never mind,” I said to myself, while encouraging him to tell me more.
His next instinct was to go to Apple’s website, pull up the comparison chart between the M1 and M2 Airs, and talk me through them.
He enthralled me with the 1080 HD camera — “Sooo much better than on your Air.” He tabulated the wonders of MagSafe, the new speakers — “not amazing, but better” — and even the color-coordinated cable.
I couldn’t help but interrupt. “This dark blue color. It’s really nice, isn’t it? But I heard it can chip quite easily.”
“No, the real problem is fingerprints,” he said with utterly disarming honesty.
“Look, it’s a fingerprint magnet,” he added while pointing out a fingerprint below the keyboard.
I warmed to his enthusiasm.
Not a fan, but students are.
But then he threw me.
“The fan on this one is much better than on your M1,” he said.
“This has got a fan?” I wondered. “My M1 doesn’t have a fan.”
He paused and asked me to wait a minute while he walked over to a colleague. Soon, he returned.
“My bad,” he said. “No fan.”
Naturally, this led me toward the rumors and reviews that the M2 Air can run a little hot — when you work it all day on more complex manoeuvres.
“If you’re doing video editing all day and stuff like that, I’d still recommend the Pro,” the salesman replied.
Then he paused while I wondered what was coming next. What was coming next was a description of the kind of human for whom the M2 Air was perfect.
“I get a lot of students in here, and they all tell me they can do everything on it,” he explained.
My eyes bounced against the back of my head. Was this fine, but clearly relatively raw, Apple salesman telling me the M2 Air is merely the perfect student machine?
He carried on speaking, while I disappeared into a well of hurt. Is this all I’ve ever been? Has my decades-long embrace of the Air been nothing more than an admission of my immature computing status?
I began to suffer from a disturbing echo of another Apple store visit when the salesman told me the Air was merely; I can barely write this, “a Honda Civic.”
Is this all I am? Have clever people been looking down on me for the last long years?
I decided to fight back. I was going to get one of these fingerprint-gathering, fanless gadgets for the feckless.
I would continue to display my meager credentials and let the world laugh.
The hard, hard sell.
So I turned to the salesman and said: “I don’t suppose you actually have any of these, do you? I mean, you’re probably sold out, right?”
At this, his eyes lit up above his mask as if the magician had returned from a sojourn in the desert and was about to pull his greatest trick.
He reached for his pocket, pulled out his iPhone and declared: “Well, let me see! We’ve just had some delivered.”
I couldn’t believe that I had acted with random, but perfect, timing. I couldn’t believe that I might walk out of this store with one of these precious machines — and in midnight blueish too.
The salesman’s screen lit up, and his face fell down.
“Unbelievable,” he said. “I was here two days ago, and we had some.”
I absolutely felt sorry for him. He was doing his very best and likely hadn’t been doing this for long. I wanted to buy specifically from him.
He went back to the Air and searched Apple’s website for delivery possibilities on a 16GB, 1TB, midnight blueish M2 Air. He keyed in my zip code.
This was to be expected, but it also had the effect of forcing me to ponder just a little more. I didn’t have to indulge in any impulse-purchase tendencies.
I now have time to wrestle with my conscience and ask the most important questions: “What have I become, and what have I always been?”
And, most importantly: “Have I always been a student?”