Saturday, August 14, 2010

iThank You.

 I accidentally ‘watered’ my iPhone last week. It was tragic. After I pulled it out of the [body of water redacted due to the author’s vanity], I furiously dried it, turned it off, placed it in a baggie full of rice and held vigil for 24 hours. I did a little tribal healing iDance over it, maybe said a few iPrayers.

After a period of drying (and severe iWithdrawals), I turned it back on. Worked beautifully. I called my home phone and talked to myself for a minute to make sure the speakers worked, and all was right with the world. I hit the home button to try another app. NOTHING. I hit it again. NOTHING. The home button, for the non-iPhone world, exits one out of an app or feature to bring one back to the menu. It was dunzo. Elation turned back to grief.

I made an appointment at the Apple store, in hopes that maybe, somehow, I could get it replaced without having the shell out for another one. To my eyes, the water sensor in the earbud jack was still white. There was hope.

The appointment was set, and The Kid insisted on coming with me. When we arrived, I plopped him in front of an iPad and went to the genius bar in the back.

And well, there was total, obvious water damage. They were sorry, but they couldn't do anything. I could give them $200 to replace the phone and it wouldn't reset my contract with stupid AT&T nor would it push out my date that I'm ready for upgrades, etc.

Now, I had anticipated this. I get a great discount on hardware at AT&T through my work, and buying a new (non) iPhone was my plan B. So, I tell the iTechieAppleStoreGuy thanks, but I’ll just have to get a new phone at AT&T, since it will be cheaper.

So, I turn toward my son, deep in concentration over the iPad. I come to realize that he’s quite possibly stuck to the iPad. It's like the greatest thing ever. He's never seen one in person before.

”Let’s go, Kid, we’ve got another store to go to.”

“One more time!” he requests, referring to the level in the game he’s found.  

The request for one more time turns into frantic begging for five more minutes. Five more minutes turns into crying and pleading for an iPad of his very own. You know, the whole process of the explosive, progressing, toddler-style tantrum coming out of a 10-year old. I hold my ground, and we amazingly avoid the full iMeltdown. He understands that we are not buying an iPad and we walk out of the store. This takes 20 minutes, and I feel that familiar burn of judgmental eyes on the back of my head.

We are outside of the iStore and then in the window there is an iPad and it has a game on it that he LOVES to play (Plants vs. Zombies). He asks to go back. I say no, we're going upstairs to AT&T. Like, less than 100 yards. Suddenly his legs no longer work, he's tired, he’s stricken with paralysis, unless he can play Plants vs. Zombies, how can I expect this child to continue living? It’s like, MOTHER, YOU ARE SO CRUEL! I MUST. PLAY.

So, it’s been a stressful few minutes. One of the beauties of parenting The Kid at 10 years old vs. pretty much every age prior to this is that I finally have him up to speed on what’s completely unacceptable. We’ve already been through a 20 minute power struggle, and I can finally exercise the “don’t F with MOM” look that we all grew up with (and instinctively understood at 2, but for my delayed genius of a son, it took an extra 8 years to sink in). I glare and say, “UPSTAIRS. NOW.” He iComplies.


I get him up the escalator and into the AT&T store. I am asking the AT&T dudes about what it would cost me to replace my phone at this point... I'd have to pay full price. I begin the whole,’ but I have a corporate discount’ fight that gets me nowhere (and I later find out the discount only applies online).

During this fight, The Kid interrupts me to tell me about Plants vs. Zombies 8 times. He corners another poor AT&T employee to tell HIM all about Plants vs. Zombies. The Kid starts picking up phones on the wall, while talking about plants vs. zombies, semi-illustratively, to enhance his describing of Plants vs. Zombies. Like all mobile phone stores, the phones at AT&T are all attached to the wall with spring loaded wires. The Kid maneuvers so that he practically pulls the phone off the wall, lets go of it, exemplary, no doubt, of how a plant shoots a zombie, and it hits the wall in two places before springing back to his docket on the wall. This does not interrupt his lecture on the relative merits of explodey cherry things over the green horn-shaped shooting plants.  

AT&T guy, who is refusing to believe I have a corporate discount looks at The Kid in reaction to this, turns back to me with a “Don’t F with AT&T Dude” look, more scathing than any I can level as mom, and I collect The Kid and we leave in disgrace. Well, I do. The Kid’s all, “The walnuts are best placed on the OUTSIDE of the lawn, so as to trap the zombies behind them.”

We're outside the AT&T store. I'm miserable. I can't tell you how sad my 48 hours without my iPhone was. How pathetic is that? Then The Kid's totally still talking about Plants vs. Zombies. As much as I like to tell myself I'm a smart consumer, I'm not. I cave. I'll shell out the $200. This is humiliating, from all sides.

I go back to the iStore or whatever, and am greeted by a nice looking guy who asks me if he can help me. I'm practically in tears, which means, NOT EVEN PRACTICALLY, I'm in tears. I tell him that I'm there to bend over and replace my water damaged iphone.

He says, "bend over?" And I explain that I was just in there and was told it was toast, went up to an utterly not helpful AT&T store, and now I'm back to blindly give money to Apple again after only owning an iPhone for 11 months, to replace it, even though it's stupidly easy to destroy them.

He ushers me back to the genius bar, gives me to a kindly hipster girl, who starts to help me get a new iPhone.

Need I say that the second we crossed the iThreshold that The Kid found an iPad with Plants vs. Zombies and was blissfully stimming away? Yeah, it’s pretty much a given at this point.

So I sit down at the bar, holding back tears, because it had been a really stressful 30 minutes, and she looks at me and says, listen. I'll meet you half way. We'll replace it for $100.

My tears were not even about Apple at that point. It was the "I can't go anywhere with this kid" but quickly assessed and told her how frustrated I was because I thought I was coming to get my phone fixed and here I am shelling out MORE money. Whatever, it worked. And maybe I did deserve a discount off of my apparently drenched iPhone. A friend of mine named this the Super Secret Autism discount.

Anyway, that's my iStory, and I’m iSticking to it.


  1. iLove the Super Secret Autism Discount, and think it should be more widely practiced!

  2. Hey Gal! I am so sorry for all the stress. I agree that the iphone is so easy to idestroy! I dropped mine on the pavement two days ago and it screen shattered to pieces. :( I was ill! We were also told it would b $200 dollars to repair. We went to the istore and the iappletechyguy working also shared the idiscount with us too!! We were sooo i-excited!! I guess there are good people in the iworld.

  3. Oh my gosh, I just got my first iPhone a few weeks ago, and I'm having iHeart palpitations thinking of dropping it now. Good to know that if the inevitable worst happens, I might find some sympathy at the Apple store.

  4. 1. I am terribly sorry for your pain, but oh my God was this funny.
    2. Your son is right. Plants vs. Zombies is awesome.
    3. I have had extremely similar shopping experiences, although usually without the hefty discount at the end.
    4. If some random hipster can just drop $100 off a phone and barely think about it, those phones cost waaay too much money.
    5. Next time I go to the iStore I'm going to cry to see what happens.
    6. AWESOME post.

  5. Susan Levy-OsborneAugust 14, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    Love this! My LG Chocolate died after dip in the toilet so guess water aversion is universal to all cell phones.

  6. OMG--thanks for the laugh. Super Secret Autism Discount should be considered as a sales technique. I know I would consider going to a store that offered such a deal. You know, there's an App just waiting to be born there.

  7. I felt your pain, but your writing was so funny that I couldn't help from laughing with you...NOT at you :-)
    I have an iphone and a kid who likes to throw it, so I recommend to you (and everyone else for that matter) that you go to They've been easy to work with and have fixed and returned my phone 2, maybe 3 times now. I've never been on the receiving end of the super secret autism discount, I need to keep my eyes open for that one.

  8. I have never in my life wanted an iPhone, and yet I feel strangely compelled to buy one after reading this glorious tale. Perhaps Apple should be paying YOU ;)

  9. Bonnie told me about your istory. I laughed so hard since I can totally relate. The super secret autism discount is awesome but would be even better if we could get it prior to complete and total humiliation. In honor of your son I downloaded plants vs zombies.

  10. Thank you for sharing your trip to shopping hell. I LOVED reading it. My own 10-year-old (with autism and ADHD) has had so many of the same issues. He too was a late bloomer with getting the don't F with mom look. And also, he is compelled to manically talk about his favorite video games. (Presently we are immersed in Lego Harry Potter for the Wii.)
    Thanks for sharing. You gave me a lift!

  11. If your iSon needs to learn about Wii Cars RaceoRama, I have a 7 year old that can help him out. Alot. Incessantly, even.
    I loved this post. You perfectly captured life on our planet!