While in line at Starbucks today a little old lady (~70?) talked to me about my iPhone. The conversation was sweet, although I couldn’t stop my inner nerd from saying things like “The OS is really intuitive.” and “The latest software patches really help with the battery life.” (they don’t.) She was cool with it though and asked what I meant about the OS.
“Well, basically… people sit down at computers to Do Something, not because people like Using Computers. OS X knows that and gets out of your way. Windows forgets.” She then, wisely, changed the subject and told me the story of how she came to own stock in Apple.
One day she was walking down the street and saw a sign that said “Think Different” with a picture of Albert Einstein, she thought it was neat and went home and bought $1400 worth of stock. Apple stock is growing so quickly, that had she bought this stock last year, she would’ve ALREADY made $1,060 on her investment.
Lillian bought her stock in the 90s and has made over $150,000.
(She was shy and excited about sharing this story in only the way that cute little old ladies can be. The same story from a 26 year old guy would make him a douchebag.)
We talked about iPads and laptops. She doesn’t own either. “I live alone, and the thought of spending all day alone in a house with TV, and the computer…” The look on her face as she visualized the scenario made me scared of growing old.
She said she prefers to go to the library, which was where I was headed, but when she asked if I wanted a ride, and I said no thank you, I’d rather walk, and in fact, the library is closing shortly so I guess I’ll just stay here.
I do this a lot. I am offered an “adventure” or a “larger story” and I turn it down. I can’t help myself.
Largely in this scenario it’s because I felt uncomfortable getting in the car with a stranger (for her moreso than me), but also because I was afraid this was going to lead to some scenario where we become friends, and then she dies, and leaves all of her apple stock to me. I don’t want to open myself up to that kind of story, because it makes me sad.
I told her it was nice meeting her, and that maybe I’d see her at the library some other time. However I’ve seen enough of these story invitations to know that if you don’t accept them the first time, life rarely gives you a second opportunity, it just goes to someone else, and you get a story about the time you almost did something.