There’s no rhyme or reason to us crazy humans.
Take Scrabble, for example. You can play it after dinner with friends on a $30 Hasbro board. You can play it on the web with random strangers for free. Or you can get four friends with iPhones, download the tile bag app, connect the iPhones to an iPad via Bluetooth, and for about $3,500 you’ve got yourself the same game.
Well, OK, they’re not the same experience. In essence, they are Scrabble played in various ways. It’s like real, step-on-a-court tennis vs. Pong or Wii Tennis.
For me, the sad similarity between both examples is that I missed a chance to play iPad Scrabble and Wii Tennis due to “technical difficulties.” The Wii Tennis story involved alcohol and probably is best kept to myself.
My iPad Scrabble tale of woe brought back feelings of long ago, when I was selected for the school musical because I could “act.”
I desperately wanted to be part of the iPad Scrabble fun. I Google-searched the tile bag app just as I’d been instructed, remembered my iTunes password (yes!), downloaded the app (like a pro) and sat patiently, waiting for my iPhone to Bluetooth-connect to the iPad. All the while the iPad sat smugly in the middle of the table.
I think it may have even winked at me.
Hey, iPads have every right to be smug. They know we can’t wait to fondle their sleek bodies. To them, we’re a sure thing. They’re Charlie Sheen and we’re all just helpless bimbos, begging to be at their service in a way that only a TV show as base as “Two and a Half Men” can illustrate.
For the next 30 minutes I watched as others flicked letters from their iPhone to the Scrabble board on the iPad screen.
I felt like the poor kid Eddie Murphy taunted with “I got an ice cream” as everyone else made words and scored points.
A couple players sought my thoughts for possible letter combinations, but that was little consolation. I was an outsider, gazing longingly at the inner circle.
It doesn’t really matter why you’re excluded from a game, whether it’s because your stupid iPhone won’t link by Bluetooth to the iPad or because you haven’t bought an iPad yet because you’re half-expecting a fast iteration that fixes the “issues” the early adopters picked up or because, as Eddie says, “you can’t afford it”. Whatever the reason, being excluded sucks.
In a matter of months, enough of my friends will have iPads that I’ll start to feel excluded in the way I did before I ditched my PDA and its craptacular Windows Mobile and $10/MB web browsing for an shiny, new iPhone.
It’s a feeling that could best be described, in “Two and a Half Men” terms, as being perched on a barstool, dressed in a bikini, two days into a bad break-up and three tequila slammers ahead of Charlie Sheen in a drinking competition.
We all know where this is headed. It’s just a question of how long.
Lesley-Ann Trow is the founder of Gorgeous Things, an online resource for organic and natural personal-care products and ideas for women.
Image by Lokesh Dhakar