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I am now the proud owner of an iPad!
Not impressed? I don’t blame you. After all – doesn’t just about every 8-year-old own some kind of “i” thing? This is my first. Palmer has an iPod, but that’s the only “i” item in our house ... until now.
Remember, I’m the person who just got rid of my decade old cell phone and upgraded to a smartphone. Not technology resistant, I actually love technology. It’s more a matter of being financially realistic. I buy things only when I can afford them, and only when I need them.
So an iPad? It wasn’t going to happen.
We have gone slowly with technology here. Just this weekend, we added a router, making a wireless network in our house. It is now possible to surf the web on our Wii game player. I’m not quite sure why we want to surf the web if we’re playing video games, but we can, and we can also watch movies through the player, as well.
Santa brought the Wii to us in 2009, and we never set up a Wi-Fi connection. But now that I have the iPad, I knew we needed it. So for a whopping $32 with tax, we added the router.
Given the fact that I move slowly on technology and only buy it when I really need it and can afford it, how did I come to own an iPad?
It was given to me as a gift – not by my husband or family or even by my bosses. No – it was given to me by a friend … just because.
Several weeks ago, I posted on Facebook about how I had won some tickets to a Philadelphia Union soccer game while I was at Brannon’s soccer picnic. I made the comment that what I had really wanted was the iPad they were raffling – but no such luck. It was a silly post made on a Saturday afternoon. The next thing I knew, I was in a discussion with a friend about the technology and how it might help me in my job – heck, it might just be FUN! And that was that … or so I thought.
A couple of weeks ago, I got a package at work. I knew I hadn’t ordered anything, so I looked at the return address. Once I saw the label … I started to wonder. I had seen the name of the shipper before. I opened the box, and had to pick my jaw up off of the floor.
Inside was an iPad. There was no note, nothing to identify who had sent it, but I knew.
Right away I knew that I couldn’t keep this gift. I had to send it back. But there was a part of me that wished I could keep it. I talked to Scot about it, I talked with my sisters and I talked with a couple of friends – everyone’s opinion was split.
In the end I dashed off an e-mail thanking my friend, but saying that it was too generous a gift, and I really needed to return it.
The response I got back started with “You must accept, and this is why…” and my friend proceeded to explain an anonymous gift he received several years ago following a similar discussion about technology my friend wanted to buy, but couldn’t afford. My friend also wanted to return the gift, but was told to keep it. He said it changed his life.
So when it was presented to me in that way – it is kind of like a “pay it forward” gift. I am to make use of this piece of technology in whatever way will benefit me most. The only expectation – that I one day win a Pulitzer Prize!
So I am keeping it ... for myself. While I may let the boys use it every now and then, it is something for me.
I was blown away by the generosity of the gift.
I don’t know why it’s surprising when someone is so unselfish and giving. But I am embarrassed to say that it is somewhat of a surprise. It’s not that people aren’t friendly or giving – but it’s not so common to have someone just put themself so totally out there!
My older sister Karen called it “serendipity” when I saw her and my younger sister Christine this weekend. Karen had her own experience last week with someone who was willing to put herself totally out there for her – someone she barely even knows.
On a whim, Karen stopped in at a place to apply for a part-time job. Initially she was told they weren’t hiring. But the owner – not normally in the office - just happened to be there at that moment and came outto talk to my sister. She told Karen she had just been thinking of hiring someone. They started talking and the woman discovered Karen is perfect for the job. She hired her on the spot.
During the course of the process, the issue of Karen and her driver’s license came up. I have talked before about the nightmare my sister lives – a victim of Homeland Security gone wild – a U.S. citizen, who doesn’t have the proper documentation to get a driver’s license in the state of New Jersey.
I wrote a column about the need for someone to have some courage to step up to help.
So in the course of their discussion, my sister pulled out my column and showed it to this lady. Her reaction? “What a nightmare,” she said. They talked about it a little bit.
The next thing my sister knew, this woman, whom she had just met, was offering to drive her to visit their U.S. Congressman to discuss the issue. The Congressman, it seems, is this woman’s cousin. Within a day, Karen got a call that they have an appointment with him. They go this week.
Karen is shocked that someone would go so far out of their way to help a virtual stranger, as I was shocked about my gift.
We hear about things like this happening, it’s just that it doesn’t happen to US. And so it throws us for a loop when it does.
Karen is thrilled that someone has taken an interest in her situation, and feels that it is serendipity.
I will be happy when I can say for once and for all that her nightmare is over. I’ll shout it out every way I can, with my new iPad!