We were psyched up. I had done my research and knew about RAM, Gigabytes, Gigahertz, USBs, Dual Cores, weights, and prices. I knew where we needed to go and the exact one we were going to get. Toshiba Satellite A205-S.... Best Buy. $449. And then we were going to "splurge" and upgrade the RAM from 1 GB to 2 GB. We'd get it home and be awed by the new speed and capacity of our lightweight baby. That was the dream.
Reality never looks quite as pretty and rarely delivers as expected. Here is what really happened. We arranged for someone to watch Dominic and set out for Best Buy in Springfield (15 minutes away) with 1 1/2 hours to do our business. We knew what we wanted, so we'd be in, and out. Pushing through the front doors into the florescent warehouse with distinctive purpose and eagerness, we scan the monstrous blue signs and locate the computer section to our right. With confident swiftness we make our move. They have the laptops set up on a chic, curvy counter that displayed the computers in a clear progression from the "budget" models to the "even-do-your-laundry" models. Unswerving in our course, we quickened our pace and eyed up the lowest budget model, the least expensive in the store, probably on the market. But don't be fooled, it was a post-Christmas sale and was $150 off the retail price. Looking at it and each other for a few minutes we steeled our nerves for a large purchase and several years of this new computer. Was it worth it? Is this the one? Yes. Yes. Okay, let's do it!
We flag down the salesman, engaged in lively and distracting chit-chat with a co-worker, having finally gotten his attention, he nonchalantly asks, "What's up?" Umm..."we'd like to buy this computer?" He told us that they might be out of stock, and he'd check for us. Looking at some database, reminiscent of DOS screens, he pointed out that they were all out of our choice Toshiba but that they had several in stock in South Philly. While we were debating about whether or not to drive another 20 minutes to South Philly, a sleek Gateway caught my eye. At $549, it boasted the upgraded RAM already installed. Plus, it had 2 more USBs, a firewire, and a 5-1 card reader. Mmm..."What about this, Matt?" It's pretty. After more looking at it and each other, we decide to go with it. After all, we were going to upgrade anyway. Less hassle, pretty much same price. More features. After checking on his stone age database, the salesman "regretfully" (okay, so I like to think that we matter) that they are also out of the Gateway. But again, South Philly has some of those too. Thinking fast, because we only have 45 minutes left before Best Buy closes, we decide to take a little drive and get it done. South Philly, here we come.
With the same swiftness but less confidence, we quickly advance to the entrance and then to the clearly designated computer area. Looking remarkably the same, we found the same curvy counters and the budget Toshiba and the sleek and enticing Gateway. There really wasn't too much deliberation left. Matt complained about the curvature on the Gateway scroll pad buttons. The silver of the Toshiba was more commercial looking than the black of the Gateway. Then, there was the RAM: Pre-installed. We walked back and forth a few times between the two computers and decided in favor of the Gateway. Getting another flunky salesman who asked us, "What's up?" we responded with a resolute, "A computer." So he handed us the box and we went away to purchase it, or rather, to be wearied by endless queries about whether we want warranties, optimizations, transfers, anti-virus, and so on. With a broken record, "no", to everything, we headed out of Best Buy to go home with our new, lightweight Gateway.