Much like Black Friday, I avoided Cyber Monday. There wasn’t any great deals to be had this year on the items people really want. Unless of course you wanted to shove a bunch of cheap crap for Christmas under the tree to make the giving look extravagant. Sometimes the hype of sales and spending sucks people in.
But Santa isn’t real.
My wife and I do our shopping throughout the year, so we do stockpile some items for the family. Necessities are always bought and used as needed- new pants/shoes/school supplies. But things like videogames/movies/toys and those items that are a bit more “luxury” are saved for under the Christmas tree. But of course as Christmas nears, we still look and discuss if there are any last minute (a month prior is last minute for us) items we should get. Like I said, nothing this Black Friday/Cyber Monday was on our list of must own.
So today, my wife and I went out to a mall that my wife has never been to, and I haven’t been to in probably two decades. It was dated. Like 1980’s dated and brought in a bunch of memories for me. Weird memories of shopping with my mom when I was a kid just before Christmas. (That’s for a different blog post). There was a toy store that time forgot (or the leasehold did) hidden in the middle. Guaranteed people walked by it without giving it a second look because it didn’t say “GameStop” or “Toys-R-Us”. I was fascinated by the store as my wife and I wandered through it. They charged more than it should on items I could find elsewhere for cheaper. Yet somehow, here it was- 3 decades later still holding on.
But this mall has all the regular stores that a Canadian mall has- “The Bay” “Sears” “The Gap” and every other mall related store in between. We decided to stop in the “Apple Store” because my wife was hinting that she was thinking of getting me the Apple Watch 2. I was giddy with excitement and hurried along to enter the store!
I was ready to hand over money…
I like my iPhone. My kids love their iPad Mini. I really wanted an Apple Watch. As we waited to be helped, I played with the newest Apple Watch 2. It’s sleek. It’s elegant. It’s wearable tech. It’s all those things that the kid inside of me really wants. When the Apple employee came over, I had a slew of questions. My wife did not. (This was my thing. She never cared much for it.) He started by apologizing to me that they were out of most of the styles because people came in over the weekend purchasing products even though there was no Black Friday Sale on Apple merchandise. Sales hype gets people in the mood to spend.
As we spoke, my interest in owning the watch diminished. My wife could sense it. The salesman could too. The final thing that got me to realize that it wasn’t worth the money (to me at least) is that the battery has approximately 1000 charges and no way to replace it. Roughly three years- longer if I only use the time display and none of the other functions. Thanking him for his time, I walked away empty handed. But I was ok with that. My wife was a bit upset. This was the gift she wanted to give me this year.
Spending $600 or more on me when I have a family and other responsibilities seems selfish. Being able to say “I don’t need it” -and mean it- feels good. Sure, now my wife feels she may be scrambling now for that perfect gift for me, but it’s better than getting something that I may end up feeling “meh” about later on. The Apple Watch just isn’t what I want.
I don’t know what I want for myself this holiday season. All I really want is for my family to be happy. It’s not about me. It never was. I’m sure one day, my wife will surprise me and blow me away with her thoughtfulness and extraordinary gift giving ability. But as we left the Apple Store, she pointed out that I am very particular about what I want. And shopping for me has never been easy.
She still has a month to get me something that she deems worthy of “the gift” this year. Good luck dear.