Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Consumer Complaints

It's like a million degrees here on the East Coast, and it's only April 22. I swear, like a week ago I had to put on my "somewhat heavy coat" because it was so cold and now I'm moving around the coffee shop trying to get out of the sun because I'm dying of the heat.

It's giving everyone a feeling of weather-vertigo -- you know, when it's the wrong temperature for the day's activities? It's a Tuesday in April, but it feels like a Saturday in August. Weird. Are we supposed to work? To go to the beach? Do we start drinking at 4 on the patios, or do we wait for cocktail hour proper? So many questions.

Since my brain is in a Saturday-in-August mood this is going to be a Saturday in August kind of post: uninformed, not very thoughtful, aimless.

The theme of this post is my consumer complaints. I have a few. You know the kind of thing: you're there, you've got the money to pay, you've got the time to shop, but no one is freakin' offering the thing you need.

The main thing I need is a stylish backpack. What committee of morons decided that if you're going to make a backpack it has to look like you're going hiking? Everywhere I go I say the same thing: "I'm looking for a backpack that is styled like a shoulder bag but is actually a backpack." And everywhere they tell me the same thing: there is no such thing.

I'm mystified by this. I want to carry a laptop. I'm a girl, so I'm not as strong as guys, and carrying a tote on the shoulder, or a bag in my hand, just wears me out. My back gets tired. I get all lopsided. My shoulder hurts.

I tried carrying an across-the-body messenger-style bag, but for certain reasons they didn't work with my DD-size boobs. The strap goes right between. It ruins my clothes. It looks ridiculous.

You'd think there'd be a million women out there with the same problems, looking for a nice but stylish backpack. Are there? I don't know. I know students carry those hulking massive camping style things, for their books, and I know certain women don't carry a laptop around at all. I guess there's also the "bag on wheels" thing but I'm certainly not going to the bag on wheels when there's a perfectly reasonable and comfortable alternative -- the backpack!

At one point I started fantasizing that I could buy a MacBook Air and it would weigh nothing and I could put it in a largish purse.

You know what, though? The MacBook Air has the same keyboard that the cheapo Mac has. It's plastic; it's ugly; it makes a little clicky sound when you type. I know, 'cause I asked the guys at the Apple Store to make sure. They said, "Yeah, we call that the 'chicklet' keyboard."

Argh! Guys, if I'm buying an expensive and super elegant slim computer, I want a nice keyboard. I do not want a bunch of chicklets!

And as long as I'm making a list, I'd also like some strappy non-wedge sandals, I'd like to able to sync my notes between my iPod touch and my computer, and I'd like everyone to stop charging such outrageous fees for Wi-Fi in public places. I mean, really, every local coffee shop is offering this for free with your espresso, and Starbucks wants 40 dollars per month? Sorry. Annoying.

In closing, for your reflection, here's what our consumer culture is good at: canny way to sell chocolate, guys!


Daniel said...

Hmmm, when I bought my gorgeous black MacBook, it was the keyboard that sold me!! Funny. I think the keyboard feels relatively solid and good - what laptop have you used that has a better one? Maybe the SONY laptops do, don't know.

I just bought a new bag. I splurged with some money I got after a rather sad event and I bought a fancy messenger bag made by Hugo Boss. It's really delightful. I'm with you, though, that messenger bags, even for me, with no boobs, aren't always ideal. I have a stinking suspicion that you might have the most luck in sort of expensive department store - maybe even checking out what passes for "men's bags" - in your search for the stylish backpack. I'm saying this because I found mine at the boutique - ish Bloomingdale's in Soho.

On the other hand, there might be something pretty cool about an old-school backpack that's sort of flimsy and blue and not high tech. The new ones, though, are pretty awful.

Noko Marie said...

The keyboard I'm comparing to is my MacBook Pro: it's aluminum, and it shows no fingerprints, and it makes no clicky sound. I love it.

I know, expensive department store sounds right. The men's bags though tend toward the heavier and the sturdier. I found a cool one made by Caterpillar but it was like 10 pounds empty and had that SUV-of-backpacks look.

I found a super-cool Benetton one the other day but it was like a half-inch too small for the computer. Which is 15 inches. Because Mac doesn't make a small MacBook Pro.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I love this picture. I go and look at it sometimes to be cheered up. The wonders of American capitalism . . . just too fabulous!!!