At a car dealership last night, I wanted to buy a new car and the salesperson was making it really hard to say no. Luckily, Tom was there, doing his best “tough guy.” As the price dropped lower and lower, Tom leaned back in his chair, folded his arms across his chest, and played hardball, both with the salesperson and me. To the salesperson: “We aren’t looking to buy right now.” To me: “Yoona–remember the Gateway.”
Whenever I want to buy anything on an impulse, Tom brings up the stupid Gateway computer I bought 12 years ago. Recent transplants from NYC, we had just rented an apartment and were keeping our purchases modest. But eventually all things come to an end, and so it was with my frugality. I can be disciplined, financially, for periods of time. But inevitably, I crack. The severity of the cracking is directly proportional to the length of time that I have deprived myself. And so it was that one evening, after months of penny-pinching, we walked past a Gateway store, and I decided I had to have a computer, that very night.
Boy, was it a beaut. The monitor itself was probably three feet square. It had a 40 GB hard drive and less memory than my current digital camera, but back then, it was top of the line. Everything I would need for gaming, said the Gateway rep. I nodded my head in silent agreement. I didn’t game, but that didn’t mean I didn’t want the option of becoming a gamer. Same with the speakers. Back then, I didn’t know how to play music on a computer, but it seemed silly not to have the subwoofer, when all was said and done. With all the necessary embellishments, it cost something like $3400, which is the current price, I believe, of an entry-level Kia. But being newlyweds, Tom was still eager to please me, and also eager not to be single in a town in which he knew no one. And so he nodded his acquiescence, even though his eyes were troubled. As for the computer, it was probably obsolete by the time we drove it home.
I shouldn’t have bought the Gateway, but that doesn’t mean I should have to hear about it for the rest of my life. I remember the damn Gateway. I could hardly forget it, as it’s currently sitting in my basement in a huge cow box because it weighs 7000 pounds and is too heavy to dispose of. I shouldn’t have to hear Tom’s voice in my head when I stand at a Starbucks counter waffling between a grande and a venti, reminding me to “remember the Gateway.” Enough already.