A Loco Viewpoint


    My wife Cupcake thinks I’m smarter than the average bear. If this is the case, I would have to say that bears are unbelievably stupid creatures. If I was as intelligent as I have somehow led her to believe, I would certainly not got myself into the situation I did.
    The problem began when I decided to be really smart. That was my first mistake. Cupcake had expressed a desire for an iPod for Christmas to host her vast, over-played, Josh Grobin music fixation… I mean, collection. Since she has so few desires she wants me to fulfill, I figured I should do something about this one. I also factored in the fact that her phone contract was up and we were in a position to upgrade from her ancient model, the one with the quaint little hand crank. (I saw a similar relic on Antiques Road Show recently.) 
    Add to the mix that Cupcake also had a bad yearning for a new digital camera, and the brilliant answer to my annual “What to buy Cupcake for her WOW gift?” question became readily apparent. If I bought her an iPhone, she would have all three problems taken care of; she would have a new phone, a new camera and a new repository for her multiple gigabytes of Josh. (That’s what she calls him. Apparently, they are on a first name basis in her mind.) What it gives me is a monthly phone bill, double what we had been paying, but it would be worth it if she enjoyed it as much as I thought she would. Besides, I would have two years to pay it off.
    So, gentle reader, you can see why this did seem like an intelligent, maybe even clever plan, to kill many birds with one stone. I had forgotten one crucial fact, however, Cupcake is as technologically savvy as Wilma Flintstone. The Amish display more aptitude for electronic devices than does my darling bride.
    This is not to say Cupcake is stu… er… not smart. She is extremely intelligent in many, many ways. Her issue with all things electronic is that she is not very patient, is hard to coach and gets frustrated at inanimate objects until her hatred for it takes over. Just what she needed in her life was a device as elaborate and sophisticated as an iPhone. It was like buying her a bad mood.
    I hadn’t considered Cupcake’s inherent hostility toward things with buttons that beep and buzz when I was sitting across from the eager salesman. “Ab” was what his tag read, named after a stomach muscle, perhaps, or short for Abner, maybe. He was almost incontinent at his excitement at the big sale. 
    I had been casually throwing Cupcake red herrings as to what I was getting her, making her believe it would be an iPod, which only does music. When I asked which model she preferred, her only certainty was that it should be pink. This was good to know since the pink model was twenty dollars less than all other colours due to their lack of popularity
    Snag number one occurred when Honest Ab explained that I had a 14 day trial period in which I could return it for store credit and nullify the data plan. Quickly doing the math, I realized it fell a few days short of Christmas. I get few opportunities to go to the city to shop for Cupcake and needed to make a snap decision. I can’t ever recall making one of those that I didn’t later regret
    Snag two occurred when I misunderstood the instructions on shifting the plan over to her new phone from the coal-fired flip phone she was using. Trying to be shrewd and proactive in setting up her telecom account, I inadvertently deactivated her phone while she was on her own shopping expedition, causing her to call on her friend’s phone in a teary panic.
    By the time she came home, arms, once more laden with merchandise that used to be our savings account, I had arrived at the conclusion that her wonderful WOW present would have to come early.
    I thought she would be happier when I gave it to her. Her look wasn’t so much one of excitement and joy, but more akin to fear and loathing. Even though all her friends have succumbed to “texting”, Cupcake has always resisted. Granted, her old phone wasn’t exactly “texting friendly”.  In fact, when you pressed a button, a little Underwood manual typewriter would pop up so you could put in a tiny sheet of paper. She also considered texting rude, dangerous and frivolous. “If you have something to say to somebody, what’s wrong with just picking up a phone to call someone?” she would ask rhetorically every time she saw it. Every single time.
    Now she was going to become One of THEM!
     I knew she secretly wanted to be One of THEM for ages, however, I could sense she felt left out when her friends were responding to texts from their electronic-age offspring and showing each other their Facebook pages full of babies, kitties and puppies. She wanted a phone full of babies, kitties and puppies, too, but knew how much a smart-phone was and never dared to hope for one. So she hated them instead.
    Now however, her new reality stared her in the face. She had to be urged just to press a button to turn it on. After much stress best left to the imagination, between myself and our sons, she can now text messages to her friends. Her phone hasn’t stop beeping. She is now in electronic euphoria. 
    Now all I need is an idea for a Christmas present for her. For me, all I want are ear plugs.
    To all my wonderful readers, here’s a wish for the best holiday ever and a safe, prosperous 2014. See you in January!

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