“The case is £50,” he says to me looking slightly nervous, “It has a light.”
There is a plastic blob in the top corner, which begs me to fiddle with it. I pull it all the way out and it curves up and over – but doesn’t illuminate.
“This one is running low,” he explains sheepishly.
The stack of other cases he’s clutching look cheap and uninspiring. I couldn’t turn up at work with a pink one anyway. No, it’s this one or nothing.
‘£50’ I think. That’s almost half the price of the device itself. It’s stupidly expensive… yet somehow I want it. I’ve made the sales guy run around like a nutter looking for a Kindle and an Apple TV. I should really buy a case too. I almost owe it to him. Two sets of eyes are on me, waiting for a decision. He hands me one that looks identical.
“The one without a light is about £30.”
My brain jumps to another subject, unable to accept that John Lewis could have possibly sold the last 2 Apple TV’s in the hour or so that the shop’s been open.
“And you are really sure you don’t have any Apple TV’s left?” Forget working on my book this weekend. It’s imperative that we go home, collapse on the sofa, and watch streamed movies all day long. Screw the new Kindle – Apple TV is where it’s at now. Another sales guy beckons over to the Apple cabinet.
“If it’s not in there, we don’t have it.”
I know that I want it more because I can’t have it. It’s the same with that darn picnic basket. And I thought we’d timed it well coming out to the shops before the good weather comes back. Damn all the other forward planners!
‘What exactly is in there anyway?’ I wonder, as I glance over to the tall glass unit standing proud alongside rows and rows of shiny MacBooks.
The cabinet holds a random selection of mis-matched items. A couple of digital camera’s, the iPad connector kit, some remotes.. hang on.. what’s that? Down on the bottom shelf – left there as if nobody could be bothered to find a real home for them. Leaning unimpressively against the back of the tall glass cabinet lie 2 Kindle cases – on sale! Only £25 too. I’m suddenly interested again. Where is that sales guy?
“Um. The cases over there in the sale,” I ask him – unable to resist a special offer, “are they the same as the one you showed me?”
He looks utterly confused and slightly tired of me. I mean, what are John Lewis doing putting Kindle cases in the Apple cabinet anyway?
“Let me go and get the key,” he replies loyally.
I bought the discounted case without actually knowing what it looked like. My sales guy couldn’t work out how to get it out of the box without tearing the packaging, which reinforced the idea that it had in fact never been opened. I wasn’t going to question why John Lewis was selling a brand new case as a ‘previously used’ item. It saved me £7, and that’s all that mattered. OK, so it didn’t have a fancy light, but at least it gave my new toy a bit of protection from clumsy fingers.
Despite having a load of wedding vouchers to be spent, and no picnic basket to spend them on, I ended up paying for both items on my brand new debit card. It was the first time I’d used the card with my new name on it, and I found myself thinking silly thoughts such as ‘will they know I’m a ‘new’ person now?’ and ‘do I have to prove to them that I am a Mrs?’ I was still toying with the idea of claiming the money back at work – seeing as I’d officially had word that I would be allowed to test a Kindle for work purposes. As I wasn’t sure if they would write me a cheque for something I paid for in vouchers, I decided to play it safe and use all of the remaining money in my bank account. ‘I get paid next week anyway,’ I reassured myself.
Without even leaving the electricals department, I ripped open the box to find out what I’d actually bought. I hoped the case didn’t say something like ‘Kindle version 1 – I’m too cheap to buy a newer one’ on it. It turned out to be exactly the same as the demo case, only in a slightly less fancy looking box. I was in love already. My Kindle wasn’t even out of its eco-friendly packaging, and already I didn’t want to give it up. If I claim the money back, then officially it doesn’t belong to me anymore. I’m not sure I could let that happen.