Life, love and the almighty iPad in marriage
We had a family crisis recently, actually one of many because we inhabit a world that doesn’t function without a daily crisis or two or 22. Just as we’re coming out of one crisis, we’re headed into another, sort of like the Trump administration, which, I suspect, deals with them better than we do.
Back before the world shut down, my wife, my daughter and my grandson returned from a trip to New Hampshire. When they pulled into the driveway, they started unloading bags, coolers, satchels, totes and just about anything else they could toss overboard.
The porch was cluttered with debris from their week-long adventure, when I opened the front door. Then, just as quickly as my daughter arrived, she got back into her SUV and drove off, and we had to put everything away. Everything except one thing — Sandy’s iPad. It was missing.
She rummaged through every bag and satchel while my daughter scoured her car, front to back and back to front. Nothing. My 3-year-old grandson had been watching movies on it during the ride home. Could he have heisted it and sold it on the black market? (My wife yelled at me for suggesting such a thing, but you know how devious 3-year-olds can be.) Anyway, I checked the driveway. Nothing. Finally, the Inspector Clouseau in me said, “Maybe it was on the roof when she drove off.”
Despite their protests, I got in my car and retraced her route down our street and onto the highway. I was driving so slowly that people were honking. I won’t say what I did because this is a G-rated column. A mile down the road, I saw debris on the shoulder.
Risking life and limb, I got out of the car and found the iPad smashed into pieces. No repairs needed. No repairs possible. I groaned. I’m not going to tell you how many times this has happened before. The last time, a person, who shall go unnamed, left it on the roof and it fell off on the Merritt Parkway. The time before that ... well, never mind. To quote my Italian mother, who had the wisdom of Abe Lincoln, “Easy come, easy go.”
“That’s it,” I thought. “I’m not buying another one.”
Sandy’s first response was “I don’t want another one!” I didn’t believe her.
This is a woman who from the moment she wakes up until the moment she shuts her eyes is glued to the iPad. Even after she shuts her eyes, she leaves it on because Downton Abbey helps her sleep.
She watches the news, checks email, plays Scrabble, Googles recipes, does research, pays the bills, gets directions, orders food, listens to music, checks the weather, rechecks the weather five minutes later, buys stuff on Amazon, returns stuff to Amazon and collects photos of our grandchildren. You get the idea. The iPad has become her life. (I confess it’s my life too.)
But now, she was insisting that she didn’t want another one, and not because she gave it up for Lent. I knew she couldn’t do it. No one can. Apple has made us all addicts. She’s not that strong. Was this reverse psychology? The kind of reverse psychology China used to make us think coronavirus was our fault?
To torment her, I used my iPad to play backgammon and watch a documentary about Motown, but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t get her to beg me to buy another one. Was she resisting just to annoy me? How could she free herself from the chains of technology so easily? It wasn’t fair. Quite honestly, it was driving me crazy, so to spite her, I bought her another iPad, but she refused to take it. (Is marriage supposed to be like this?)
I pleaded with her to take it. I told her she needed it because of the coronavirus lockdown. I told her it would make me happy. In the end, she did it for me.
Joe Pisani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.