A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

The Apple Genius Bar: BYOB (Bring Your Own Boobs)

Today’s Just the Tip Tuesday column is a variety of tips all related to the technical difficulties I’ve been experiencing lately.

1.) If you are a woman and need to go to the Apple Store Genius Bar, wear a low cut top and some lipstick. Go ahead and call me a sexist, but I tutored graduate level statistics at one of our nation’s top technology schools and I know a thing or two about a thing or two. Plain and simple, the field of technology is still dominated by men. In my personal experience, every single time I’ve been to the Apple Store in the past two years, I’ve been enthusiastically greeted at the door by a woman, but assisted with my technology troubles by a heterosexual male who definitely appreciated my extra effort and cleavage. Hey, like Penny from Dirty Dancing says, “Oh, come on, ladies. God wouldn’t have given you maracas if He didn’t want you to shake ’em.”

2.) And speaking of those eager male Apple Store employees, it is not a bad idea to rub some VICKS VapoRub onto your upper lip before you go, like forensic pathologists do when dealing with decomposing bodies. The dude who helped me today must be a black belt in Karate, ‘cuz damn, his breath was KICKIN’!

3.) If you must take three children with you into the Apple Store, it’s always a good idea to lay down some rules before you enter the mall. “Hands and feet to yourselves. Library voices. No running. If you break anything, it’s coming out of your savings. And do not bother me while I’m talking to the nice man unless you are bleeding out and cannot wait for life support.” If that’s not your bag, my other favorite strategy is to employ bribery in the form of “If you make good choices, we’ll stop for ice cream.” Up to you.

4.) Just like when you get pulled over for a speeding ticket, crying at the Apple Store Genius Bar is a crapshoot. But I say, it never hurts to try. (Again, speaking to the ladies here.) Worse case scenario, you blow a snot bubble and repel he techie with whom you’re working or someone there calls for a psych consult. But 9 times out of 10, these are really sweet, sometimes stinky guys who don’t want to see you lose 14,000 photos and rupture an artery. Tears may improve the odds of them trying one more supergeeky trick up their sleeve to recover your data. Just make sure you have a pocketpack of tissues with you (always) and waterproof mascara.

5.) Today I was told that on average, today’s hard drives only last three years. Allow me to repeat that for emphasis: THREE. FRICKIN’. YEARS. Or according to Clint at the Apple Store today, “If yer computer is more than 3 years old, yer livin’ on borrowed time!” In the past 18 months, I’ve been to the Apple Genius Bar twice for two different laptops and the verdict was the same both times: “Failed Hard Drive.” Is it a racket? You tell me. Oh sure, them parts be spinning hecka fast, it’s only natch’ral that they get worn out PDQ. But still. It’s not right. The moral of the story? Back up your shit, people, because our computers are designed to fail. It is a vicious cycle called “planned obsolescence.” If this makes you as mad as it makes me, you might want to spend 21 minutes watching this brilliant YouTube video called “The Story of Stuff.” It’s very thought provoking! Consider yourself warned.

This time, I am semi-lucky. I do have a backup of my 14,000 photos on a portable hard drive. The same portable hard drive I bought the very day my other MacBook died and I lost two and a half years worth of Flip videos of little Bucket Head as a baby. That really sucked. But I learned my lesson. Better late than never. How about you? Are you livin’ on borrowed time? What are you and your boobs doing about it?

technologically down but not out,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.



  1. Barefeet InTheKitchen

    BYOB will never be the same for me again.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Awesome. Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket, honey. Always use what the good Lord gave you.

  2. Tracy

    I always keep a low cut top and some lipstick in my car. They’re quite handy in the event I get pulled over for speeding or busting an illegal u-turn.

    • The Bearded Iris

      A woman after my own heart! And I’m sure you get bonus points for changing your top while the CHiPs officer is approaching the vehicle.

  3. Megan at declutterdaily

    3 years! That’s it! So Scott hasn’t been lying to me. Huh…go figure.

    • The Bearded Iris

      No – trust Scott. He knows his shit. See my other reply to Kris about the system… the 3 yr. comment by the Genius Bar dude was a scare tactic. Bastards.

  4. Mamadonn

    This is why it pays to have a MacBook Air. That drive is a SDD with no moving parts. Still need a backup drive for those 14,000 photos though. BTW, the Mac of which you speak was three years old when you acquired it, so it lasted a good long time. You were lucky though.
    Today’s Mantra is “BACUP, BACKUP, BACKUP”

  5. Kris

    Shit….three years? Really? I guess I’m on borrowed time too. I’ll do some backing up tonight. Computer backing up that is…..no sexual innuendo intended.

    Thanks, as always, for your informative Tuesday tips. You rock.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oooh, let me esplain, Lucy. The fucknut at the Genius Bar said “three years” (meaning, avg. life of hard drives today). HOWEVER, I think that is a load of crap. He was just trying to scare me into buying a whole new system. They are trained to do that, you know, scare people. It’s their job.

      The PowerBook I had with me was about 7 years old, as is the Dell I’m writing from right now.

      Consumers are highly motivated by fear. Every good sales person knows this and capitalizes on it. They are trained, TRAINED I tell you, to say shit that will persuade us through our emotions to buy, buy, buy. Trust me, I used to be an Executive Sales Trainer before I gave it all up to stay home and wipe up bodily fluids all day.

      So there are three things happening here:
      1.) the equipment is designed to not last so that we will have to keep buying new,
      2.) the new designs are never compatible with older designs so that we have to buy MORE (can’t just easily replace the one tiny broken part…have to buy a whole new machine.)
      3.) the sales force is trained to scare us into buying new.

      Our only recourse is to be educated consumers!! And backup, backup, backup! (Your computer, not your badonkadonk.)

      • Kris

        Thank you, as always, for the further detail. And to quote Pitbull, I’ll “back it up like a Tonka truck.”

  6. Julie

    I’m not gonna lie, I frequently use the cleavage to my advantage. Men are simple creatures, and if I can’t jiggle my boobies to get what I want, and baking them a cake doesn’t work, I figure I’m working with a teammate and we can talk about the latest episode of RHOInsertcityhere.

    Also, we have a 2 TB wireless Mybook for back up. Love it!

  7. Allysgrandma

    I’m passed the age where boobies work, unless the salesmen are in their 70s! I use the pathetic “I don’t know anything about computers” and that usually works pretty well (even though I know quite a bit for a 53-year-old). I have taken a computer apart, added memory and multiple updates on a Unix system (talked through it over the phone by support staff of our software company…..when I actually worked).

  8. Debbie M

    Um, your back-up portable hard drive is just as old as your failing computer hard drives? (I swear I do not work for Apple and not trained to scare.)

    • The Bearded Iris

      No, it’s only 15 months old. But I’m going to start saving more things to the cloud too just in case! 🙂

      • Debbie M


  9. northernmum

    Ha! I always use my breastage to my advantage!

  10. Handflapper

    Well, shit. What’s a girl with no boobage to do? I don’t think bartering on my blow job prowess would go over well with the husband.

    Having killed two hard drives, I’ve learned the backup lesson the hard way.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Here’s what I know (or think I know): men like boobs. Period. It doesn’t matter what size they are. “You’ve seen two, you’ve seen ’em all.” I don’t know who said that, but I’ve heard it plenty…so maybe it’s from a Mel Brooks movie, or a popular homily at my church. Regardless. Use what you’ve got, I say. But no, keep the BJ skills for home use w/ the spouse only.

  11. Katybeth Jensen Ruscitti

    Congratulations on your trip to the Apple store-with three kids you are a marvel. I usually go the mom route with the apple genius–I look at his torn jeans, and then I raise and eyebrow and say his name ….like crying it’s a crap shoot. But it worked the time they told me I need to buy a home in Arizona if I wanted good reception for my I-Phone…
    Back-up- I learned the hard way but always feel a little smug when I can say, Yes of-course I backed everything up before I bellied up to the genius bar.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thank you Katybeth. It helps to have an 11 yr. old and an 8 yr. old to take turns keeping the 4 yr. old busy and happy. Oh, and the rules/bribery.
      So your home ownership status isn’t related to phone reception?! 😉

  12. Mary the Oinkteller

    Dirty Dancing is one of my favorite movies and probably the one that inspired me to date much older, inappropriate men in my youth. Bravo for braving the apple store with your children! A tactic I use when I don’t want the kids touching stuff (usually at the discount beverage place where I stock up on alcohol) is “hands on head.” If I so much as hear a bottle rattle, I bark the order and the kids are required to follow me looking like perps.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh, me too sister. Nobody puts Baby in a corner!

      I freakin’ LURVE the “hands on head” move! That is AWESOME. Must integrate that into my repertoire ASAP. And I’m so relieved that I’m not the only mom bringing the brood to the discount beverage place. Thanks, Mary. You are good peeps.

  13. Cate

    Planned obsolescence drives me up the wall. Is there anything more annoying?!

    I once wore a shirt with a dramatic scoop neck to the Apple store. I wasn’t thinking about it when I put it on, but when I got to the store and the guy at the Genius Bar told me my hard drive had died, and then fixed it for me for free (even though I don’t think it was technically eligible for the warranty anymore), I took note. Bad feminist? Yes, probably. But hey.

    • The Bearded Iris

      A bad feminist would send her husband or father to get the computer fixed. You doing it yourself, with or without your lovely cleavage, makes you an independent woman! You doing it yourself WITH your cleavage on display makes you an independent woman AND a savvy consumer. I give that a “bend and snap.” You go girl!

  14. Tracy Letzerich

    I should have taken your advice when the Termite Inspection guy came last week. I didn’t even have on makeup. Damn. That inspection report for $5,000 worth of work could have come back much lower!

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