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Domesticated, Not Demasculinized

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Posts Tagged ‘iPod’

An ode to my iPod…

Posted by doatmon on September 16, 2009

The old cliché is to write about what you know.  While writing what you know is easy, writing about what you love can be difficult.  When your feelings are so deep and the passion so unrestrained, words simply become inadequate.

It is with this at the forefront of my mind that I try to espouse my true feelings for my iPod.

First things first.  It’s iPod.  It’s not I-Pod or IPOD or MP3 player.  It’s iPod.  How would you like it if I called your mom by the wrong name or a generic name like, well, mom.  Bad example.  Still.  Get it right, please.

That out of the way, allow me to simply state that outside of my wife and children, nothing has changed my life as much as my iPod.  It has changed road trips.  It has changed how I fall asleep.  It has changed how I get my news and opinion (yes, Virginia, there is a difference).  It has even changed my trips to the bathroom.  Who needs the Sunday Dispatch when you can listen to a podcast on Salmon fishing in Lake Michigan?

Several years into my relationship with my gorgeous, sleek 30GB video iPod, she still looks and sounds as beautiful as she did the morning I unwrapped her.  How many things can you really say that about? I’m looking at you TMobile Dash.  Lousy tramp.

I will leave my house without my keys before I leave without my iPod.  I am truly lost without it.  I have about four different ways to charge it so I am never left with a lifeless shell of a partner.  I sync it multiple times a day.  Just in case the new PTI podcast has been uploaded.  Or maybe the Instance.  Yes, I listen to a Warcraft podcast.  Don’t you dare judge me.

But it’s not all about podcasts.  Literally, my taste in music prior to my iPod consisted of anything done by Journey and the occasional impulse buy of a CD after hearing a track on Sunny 95’s love songs.  Seriously.  Ask Coke.  I routinely embarrassed her with my musical library.

Here’s an actual conversation that took place:

[radio playing]

ME: Who’s this?

Coke:  My God, man.

ME:  Seriously, who is this?  Is it new?

Coke: This is the Steve Miller Band…”The Joker”

ME: Awesome…I’ll keep an eye out for them on Regis and Kelly

Coke: You’re an idiot.

Since my iPod and my near obsession with iTunes and its “suggestion machine,” it is I who am introducing HER to artists.  I have actually been to several concerts post iPod.  Pre-iPod, my concert experience consisted of a James Taylor excursion with Coke early in our relationship and a trip with my parents to see Chicago.  I was in high school.  Really.  It was that bad.

Now, artists like Amos Lee, Marc Broussard, Ben Harper, Ansley Lister, Tom Waits, Brendan James, Tyrone Wells, Stephen Kellogg, Joshua Radin and Stephen Ashbrook are consistently on my playlists.  Can you tell I’ve also developed a music “type?”

As the years have gone by, my relationship with my iPod has only gotten stronger.  I rely on it more now than ever.  What’s better at the park…being left alone with your own thoughts of your daughter’s imminent death by monkey bar or allowing those thoughts to be drowned out by the latest by Taylor Swift…er…I mean [thinking of something manly] Bruce Springsteen.  I think you know.

I bring all this up because I am sick and tired of my relationship with my iPod being scrutinized and demonized.  Yes, I love it.  I am never without it.  But I am very courteous.  If someone is talking to me, sure, I’ll turn it off.  I won’t take out my earbuds, let’s not be ridiculous, but I’ll turn it off.  If my daughters are talking to me, I’ll turn down the volume so I can respond to Chicken Nugget’s question about flushing Diego down the toilet.  I’m not rude.

All kidding aside, there have been several instances where I have been scolded for my iPod use.  Most recently, fresh from my decision to be a SAHD, I took French Fry to see a morning screening of The Tale of Despereaux.  This certainly wasn’t the first time we had seen this movie.  Nor was it the first time the 50,000 children and 15 adults that were in the theater had seen it.  It was a Wednesday morning screening.  For $1.

There was a particularly rowdy group sitting next to us and bleeding over into the row behind us.  It was clear there were several moms using the darkness and the distraction to pop a few Xanax and take turns catching up on sleep.  Prior to the movie, I heard one say that they would save the three seats directly to my right for “Judgie McJudgerson.”

The movie begins, the rat does something…there’s soup involved…Matthew Broderick is pretending he’s a mouse so he doesn’t have to think about being married to Sarah Jessica Parker and not Carrie Bradshaw.  So I lift the armrest, grab French Fry to cuddle, pop in my earbuds and turn on the latest “Left, Right and Center” political podcast from NPR.

Eventually “Judgie McJudgerson” stumbles into the theater, well after the movie started, with her miniature minions trailing behind her fighting over what was undoubtedly a box of Sour Patch Kids.  They clamor over to the seats that had been reserved for them and make a big production of [very loudly] explaining their tardiness, the appreciation of the reserved seats and something else that was drowned out by Dustin Hoffman’s droning.

They finally settle in and my focus goes back to the completely ridiculous rants of Bob Scheer.  A few minutes later, there’s a tap on my shoulder.  I look over and it’s Judgie McJudgerson.  I’m figuring she wants to run out for a ”five-hour energy” fix and wants me to keep an eye on her kids.  Nope.  She tells me that my iPod is bothering her and I either needed to move or turn it off. It was detracting from her enjoyment of the movie.

Seriously.

I was absolutely incredulous.  There are so many things wrong with this, I don’t have enough bandwidth to list them.  But let me get you started.  There were literally hundreds of kids under 8 in that theater.  It wasn’t exactly the audience of Julie and Julia.  Her own kids were adding their share to the decibel level in the theater.  It was a $1 showing of the Tales of freaking Despereaux.  She showed up late and bothered everyone with her prattling on about the reasons for her problem with promptness.  And perhaps most importantly, IT WAS THE TALES OF FREAKING DESPEREAUX.

Now, understand, if I was truly bothering her, I would be happy to do this.  There’s nothing I hate more than someone else’s actions disrupting my movie-going experience.  But if my iPod had been loud enough to bother her that much, the first person to yell at me would have been French Fry.  She takes her animated rodent movies very seriously and she was a lot closer to my earbuds than Judgie.  Thankfully.

I was too flabbergasted to say anything so I just complied.  Begrudgingly.  I spent the rest of the movie reassuring my iPod that it wasn’t her fault and I still loved her.

Was this out and out anti-iPod hatred?  Was it SAHD prejudice?  Was it simply a woman who was miserable and wanted everyone else to be living in her hell?  Or was I generally inappropriate for consummating (again) my relationship with my beloved Apple product in that venue?  Hurry.  I’m in Starbucks and this Teva-wearing, soy milk-drinking librarian-type looks like she’s about to say something.

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