Monday, July 27, 2009

Wanted: A spine and a new computer

I've always prided myself on not caving in (much) to the demands of my kids. I tell them there is a difference between a Want and a Need. Oh, I'll admit, sometimes a Want can be a kind of Need but I don't go out and buy them whatever the Want O' The Day is. If they want something that isn't a Need, they can either buy it with their own money or wait until Christmas or their birthday. If they have something and then lose it or break it due to their own negligence, they're shit outta luck.

So. With Thing 2 entering high school and Thing 1 going into his Senior Year (I'm SO not ready for this), I realized that there was going to be a Problem with doing homework. Several of their textbooks are on CD-ROM and there will be lots of computer-based homework. Where's the problem, you ask? Well, we have two computers in this household. Computer Number One is my six year old iMac with the non-working disk drive and Swirling Colorwheel of Death. Computer Number Two is a newer Windows laptop that I had to have for District 37 race scoring. With only one fully working computer, homework time is going to get ugly, very ugly.

TheManTheMyth agreed that for the sake of a peaceful household, another computer would be necessary for Thing 2 since Thing 1 has pretty much appropriated my laptop and my beloved iMac is on its last legs and we can't afford the cost of a new Mac computer unless I sell a kidney. Or a child.

So what does this have to do with needing a spine, you ask. I'll tell you. Thing 2 went online and found an all-in-one for the low price of $399, available only online. After adding in sales tax, shipping, a recycling fee and some necessary software, it was closer to $600 than $399.

Here's where it got ugly. *I* (and everyone else) felt it would be more practical, not to mention more affordable, to just go to our local BestBuy and get a laptop. We'd still have to pay California's sky-high sales tax but we would avoid the shipping fee and we'd have our new computer today instead of whenever it gets here some time this month. And it would be portable, unlike the Desktop she wanted. However, Thing 2 didn't agree with me. She (Who? Her. Huh.) didn't want a stupid laptop, she wanted the All-In-One, even though I emphasized that it would not be HER computer but a computer for the family. That's fine, she said, but it didn't change her mind.

We went round and round and up and down and I could feel myself weakening under the onslaught of her arguing. When Kaylyn wants something, she will (metaphorically) sink her teeth into you and shake you until you cry "Uncle!" She doesn't scream or have hysterics; she just wears you down with her pugnacious arguing skills. Thing 2's other nickname is the Pit Bull, for obvious reasons.

I finally offered a compromise. She could get the computer she wanted instead of the more practical laptop IF she was willing to pay the shipping, tax and recycling fee. Anyone who knows Kaylyn knows she "collects" Cash Money and would rather gouge her eyes out with a spork than part with any of her "Collection." She quietly got up and walked away. I was silently congratulating myself on winning this fight when she walked back in, slapped the cash down on my desk and barked, "Order it."

I was so shocked she was parting with her cash that I couldn't think straight and act like the parent and have the final say.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. So if anyone has a spine they'd like to send me, feel free.

Game. Set. Match.

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