But getting it wasn’t exactly easy. I always thought that if you wanted to buy something, you could just go to the store, purchase it and take it home. But for some reason something so deceivingly simple as buying a TV took a whole day and trips to 4 stores, including 1 very hellish experience waiting for a full hour at Best Buy with 2 overstimulated and whiny children, only to be told that the 3 models we were interested in were sold out at the store.
And something really odd happened in the buying process. We didn’t really know what brand, what size, what model, but as we were staring back at the wall of TVs, first looking at 37 inches, and then 40 inches, we kept looking at bigger and bigger TVs trying to convince ourselves that maybe what we really needed was a huge 47 incher or the newest LED technology and this, that and the other new thing – hell, we just didn’t know it yet! But eventually we did come back to earth and kept focused on our goals: to replace the old, hand me down tube TV that, as massive in size as it was, was really only a 28″ TV.
After a very frustrating and unsatisfying morning, we ended up with a most pleasant, last minute decision at PC Richard at the end of the day and was assisted by my new best friend, the PC Richard TV sales guy. He and I joked around, traded small talk and got along famously. When the TV of our choice looked like it was out of stock yet again, he whispered that he’d make us a deal and sell us a brand new model of the Samsung 40 inch TV that wasn’t yet on the sales floor. And magically, our TV appeared.
We took it home and despite the speedbump along the way (oh, you know, where our car died on us driving home from Long Island), we had our new TV.
Now, the funny thing about kids is that sometimes they don’t really like change. As Mark got down to unpacking and setting up the new TV (which, by the way, is plenty huge in our living room and any bigger would have entered into the realm of the ridiculous – what the HELL were we thinking? 47 inches? Psshwtt.), the kids were skeptical. “We don’t like this new TV, we like the old one!”, “Are we going to be able to watch the same shows on this TV? ‘Cause the old TV has all our favorite shows!”. We assured them they’d be able to watch all their favorite shows and as proof turned the TV on.
The other funny thing about these newfangled LCD HD TVs is that if you don’t have an HD cable box, the picture, especially on some channels, looks like…you know, crap. Well, we don’t have an HD cable box, but after a day or so, you kind of get used to it and you think to yourself, eh, I could live with this. Yes! We ARE that cheap that we are unwilling to shell out the extra $12.95 a month for digital cable after buying a $900 TV! Pathetic!
So the most stressful part of this whole TV buying ordeal was getting rid of our old massive set. I don’t know. These are the kinds of things that stress me out and make me anxious. We put an ad out on Cragislist and our local Yahoo group for a free TV. I was skeptical that anyone was willing to take away a massively heavy old-school TV and I worried that we’d have this thing, that was now sitting on the floor in front of the window, here forever. But we got 2 serious inquiries. The first inquiry completely flaked and was a no-show (HATE that), so we went to our next guy. He came the next day, was punctual, and seemed thankful to cart the TV away. “My kids are driving me crazy!”, he said. “They need their own TV for their video games!”. Cool.
Our TV taker was Korean (it’s clear from the name on his email). He was older than us, maybe by 10 or so years. Apparently this is the conversation that went down between him and Mark in the elevator as Mark helped him take the TV down to his car.
TV taker: “Oh, your wife is Asian? Korean, huh?”
TV taker: “Korean women cook good!”
Mark: “I do all the cooking.”
TV taker: “Wha?” (pause) But…Korean women cook good. Hmmm.”
TV taker: “Does she speak Korean?” (pause, then answers the question to himself) “Probaby not…”
Awesome! TV taker for the win!