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The 5 Stages of MacBook Charger Death

I realized the depths of my technological dependency when I first had the misfortune of watching the vibrancy and life fade from my MacBook Pro charger for the very first time. I wouldn’t wish the experience on my worst enemy or the most fervent Slim Jesus fan.

As Rebbie (my charger) gracefully transitioned from this world, I danced with hysteria daily. In those final spurts of forced productivity, I reckoned with the impermanence of Apple accessory life: “Are these motherfucking headphones and cables engineered to break hearts and bank accounts?” I shouted to the sky while running down the street in the rain, barefoot, that harrowing and humid Panamanian afternoon.

The arrival of the beginning of the end forced me to ponder (and plan for) a post-charger existence. At the time, I was living and working in Panama City, Panama, running a small English-as-a-second-language education situation and working as a freelance writer stuck inside a hateful, never-ending encore of The Accounts Payable Tango. My computer was my lifeline, my apple cinnamon.

The Apple stores there charge a smooth $110 plus tax for the 85-watt charger I needed. There are no off-brand alternatives there. No “Oh yeah, this other trustworthy brand will work just fine!”

When things were going to shit, I had no friends arriving to Panama soon who could have slipped a precious charger into my care package (which invariably contained grits), saving me lots of dollars and me seven to ten days of international shipping, Panamanian customs officer handling, and emotionally fragile hell.

Woe was me.

There are levels (and stages) to grief. Famed psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross established a widely accepted model that explains what we go through while dealing with loss. You will experience these stages as waves of emotion, each with varying intensities. These phases happen in no particular order, and every person experiencing MacBook charger death may not pass through every phase.

But me? Those four days when electrical tape and hope were not enuf were painful. I had deadlines and plenty of friends who needed to keep their own dwindling MacBook batteries alive. Their procrastination, too, needed a vehicle. After much torment, I parted with that $110 because, ultimately, watching porn on your smartphone just isn’t the same. Ultra-thrifty lifestyle aside, a motherfucker gotta draw the line somewhere.

These are the Five Stages of MacBook Charger Death.

Denial.

The very instant a fraying wire peeks out seductively from inside a MacBook charger’s rubber casing, a pang of terror gropes you, dropkicking your peace of mind like a stray Alicia Keys note unto the sound barrier. You will always remember where you were when it first happened.

This stage is often marked by an inability to believe that something like this could happen to you. Friends and coworkers will nod understandingly as you tell, again and again, how “it just worked…last night. It was right there, just fine!”

But life and positive checking account balances must go on, so you skirt the obvious: the end is nigh.

And you wrap the cord around your laptop. You drape it casually over the ceiling fan and around your big toe, typing with one hand, holding the cord just so in order to keep that orange LED on. Nothing to see here.

Anger.

Rage disarms your better judgment like a mooching cousin’s convincingly genuine embrace. You blame Apple, cursing the day you opted for the sleek and nimble computer life. You blame The Man. Steve Harvey and that fool ass Vanessa Huxtable. “Bank account, we have a problem,” you may concede, pacing and chain-smoking, your mojo melting, your knuckles powerfully ashy in public. Again.

You descend into madness as that $80 suggested retail price flashes gang signs at you from your Apple Store shopping cart. This is also called The Kitten Heels and Tube Socks Phase for its high occurrence of nervous breakdowns and departures from reality. “How could such technological hateration happen to ME?!? I was the first in my class with the Grant Hills Olympic joints, dammit!” you may wonder.

In this stage, distress-borne absurdities such as, “Maybe I’ll order this $2 Japple charger from Japan on eBay,” are common. You may even consider asking a friend for joint custody of their fully functional charger. Resist. Fight through it. In time, you’ll find a way.

Bargaining.

This is the If Only I Had Correctly Wrapped My Charger Cord phase. A feeling of simply wanting life “as it was before” is common.

“I should have surrendered that $300 for Applecare instead of spending rent money on Beyoncé tickets,” you will say. You will tell yourself this as you teach your toddler a great new game called Hold This Cord Riiiiight Here And Don’t Fucking Move.

Your metastasizing worry has become desperation and you are frenzied for a quick, wallet-friendly solution. There are still baby Jordans, holiday ham hocks and deceptively cheap travel deals to the UAE to be bought, mind you. As such, bargaining can often manifest as vowing to browse Facebook less during work hours in exchange for a miraculous technological recovery. Madness.

In public places, you hunt for Apple logos, green LEDs and kind faces. You ask yourself how long you can live like this.

Depression.

It’s noon on Monday. After a weekend of using your computer in short spurts on the lowest screen brightness level, your battery is at twenty-three percent. All of your coworkers have PCs (it hurts, I know). Your warranty finished a year ago. Welcome to hell.

Here is where you mourn those daily trips to Chipotle that you won’t be able to take for a week if you pluck this coin from your anemic and downtrodden pockets. There may be tears.

Grief greets you with open arms and introduces you to your Uncle Regret and Aunt Sadness. During this bereavement, you are reacting to the sudden loss of both charger and alleged productivity. You may occasionally ask, “You expect me to use a PC for a few days? What’s the point of living?!” when faced with routine activities.

This is the part when you escort your delicate and fading charger around town, nestled upon a Tiffany Blue satin pillow, inside a bulletproof glass hamster carrier when not in use. It is strapped into a stroller. You are inconsolable, wearing a black Kanye-esque deerbra fur onesie under a velveteen and donkey skin freakum shawl inside a suit of armor in the summertime. A mess, really.

You are despair.

Bereavement is a necessary stage of the grieving process. Out of the darkness arrives the sweet dawn. Sometimes, as in the life of Saint Damita Jo Jackson, you must Jermaine Dupri before you Wissam al Mana in order to be all right. Growth is a process. Breathe.

Hugs and ice cream cones will help you through this trying time.

Acceptance.

Life is unfair. Ke$ha is still a thing. George Zimmerman walks the Earth unmurdered and power adapters pass away. This is our reality.

If Halle Berry can make eye contact with people after Catwoman, then you can get through this. It’s not right, but it’s okay.

Look. Life among the lightweight and aesthetically pleasing has a price. No credit limit strain, no gain. Pretty hurts (your pockets).

This is the life you implicitly signed up for when you handed over your Visa, taken by the idea of harmony (and synchronization) among your overpriced devices. These are the moments not depicted in snazzy Apple ads featuring mostly White and nonthreateningly Black cool persons who are with it and now equipped to out-style those Windows 2000-using hater persons. Comfort costs…in this case, about 10 trips to Chipotle.

The rest of your life awaits you. Crawl out from under the break room table, dry your eyes, re-align your wig, smooth out your skirt and pull yourself together. Fear not: nobody can make you use a PC against your will and people who pressure you to violate your body like that aren’t to be trusted. Not even for a few days. Use the same don’t-leave-your-wallet-unlandmined-around-themly caution you would towards people who put sugar in their grits. Protect yourself.

Make your peace, drop the coin, and imagine all the Cats Are Shitbags montages and adorable rapping Black baby videos you will soon be watching at work.

Unlike Mariah Carey album sales, you shall rise again.

Alex Hardy

Alexander Hardy is the dance captain for Saint Damita Jo Jackson's Royal Army. He is a writer who escaped Hampton, Virginia and is now based in Panama City, Panama. There, he runs The Colored Boy, and consumes copious amounts of chicken. He has written for EBONY.com, CNN, Gawker, and Huffington Post among other outlets. Alexander can likely be found daydreaming about his next meal or Blacking It Up on someone's dance floor. He also doesn't believe in snow or Delaware. Read more from Alex at www.thecoloredboy.com

  • I don’t have too much sympathy for Apple people and their overpriced, built on human suffering coolness but I have watched 3 Xbox 360s die so I can relate to your pain. You know how the saying goes: You got to pay the cost to be the boss.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Did you die via the red ring of death?

      • You know it. All three times.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        I threw one of my Xboxs out of a window when it did that for the 10th time

      • Pinks

        The boo used to be an Xbox user until he got one too many red rings. Since then I’ve bought him 2 Playstation consoles, which he seems to have fewer problems with. The pain on his face when that ring first came up, boi, it was so real lol

    • LOL built on human suffering! SMH Apple is very pretentious.

      • Pinks

        Soooo annoying. “Look at my gold phone that I paid $900 to get on pre-order because it does the EXACT same thing the old one did”

        • Sigma_Since 93

          $900 for a cellphone……………………..

          • QuirlyGirly

            9 hunnid american dollars- oh no oh no- The person in the gif needs to be sitting on the floor. No stool!

            I was mad at Verizon for trying to get me to pay $24/month for the Galaxy S6.

            • tgtaggie

              $900 stacks for a phone?

            • Pinks

              Well the latest phone retailed for about $700, so the person who was selling it put a crazy markup on it for their buyer to be “exclusive” and have it before it dropped in stores. So yea, they paid $900 “just to be like ni gga you ain’t up on this!”

            • TeeChantel

              LOL. T-Mobile tried to get me to upgrade to the Galaxy S6 and whatever tablet + data plan they’re offering for an additional $10 bucks a month. I damed near had a fit. I will keep my 3-year-old S4 and not think twice about it.

              • miss t-lee

                LOL
                They were trying to get me to upgrade my HTC M7 to the M9.
                Especially because they won’t be updating my phone with the latest version Marshmallow.
                I’m about to continue to thug it out with the oldie but goodie.

                • TeeChantel

                  How’s your T-Mobile service in TX?
                  T-Mobile sucks here in MD.

                  • miss t-lee

                    It’s good, until I go out to the cuts.
                    Then it gets iffy.

              • Sigma_Since 93

                I don’t have these issues with my base phone……..come join the frugal side……..

        • LOL right?! Mad extra.

        • miss t-lee

          Every. Single. Time…lol

        • cakes_and_pies

          Now Apple has an iPhone Forever plan. I stay rolling my eyes at people gloating over a phone they largely complain about no having new features.

          • Pinks

            The one benefit I could see would be automatic cloud storage. I’m currently mildly depressed because my memory card decided to randomly not read 3 years worth of files. all my baby’s pics since he was born are on there and I’m sick.

            • cakes_and_pies

              Sorry about the pics. My bestie lost pics of her two kids birth because someone jacked up her transfer. I have automatic mobile cloud storage for my Android and have never had a problem.

              • Pinks

                I need to get on it now.

              • Val

                Do you really trust the “cloud”? Maybe I’m just paranoid about the government and corporations spying and getting into my personal business. And, also what happens if the cloud is hacked? I just don’t trust it.

                • miss t-lee

                  I trust it more than I trust leaving the pics in my phone…lol

                  • Val

                    I guess but at this point I don’t trust any device that hooks up to the internet. My personal stuff gets stored offline.

                    • miss t-lee

                      You can definitely go the external hard drive route.

                    • Val

                      I’m just really getting fed up with the internet and internet based electronics. For the last several months I’ve been considering going offline for good. I mean no internet access what-so-ever for me other than work.

                    • miss t-lee

                      Oh wow.

                    • Pinks

                      I admire that. I’ve been saying I need to do this, but I’m lying to myself.

                    • Val

                      I’ve been on a long road to becoming a legitimate minimalist. So that means I have to really access what I really need and what I’ve been convinced that I need in my life by outside forces. And more and more the internet number one seems like bad technology and also the cons in general are beginning to outweigh the pros.

                    • Oluseyi

                      Been there, which is ironic/amusing considering I’m a software developer—previously web back end, currently mobile, for Apple’s iOS!

                      But I don’t fret enough about the NSA getting into my photos to not leverage cloud storage as redundant backup.

                    • Val

                      I always worry. Lol

                    • MsSula

                      Hey same here. Software Developer, but I do an Internet purge for a minimum of 40 days every year. And it feels good… Generally speaking, I try not to be too dependent…

                    • Pinks

                      If it were just me, it would be easier to implement such practices in my life. However, there’s another three people to think about, so I’m trying to work minimalism into our everyday lives in terms of only using lights at night when we absolutely have to, clearing out clothes, using my cell phone less when I’m at home, etc. I’m addicted to the speedy access of Internet information, though, so I wonder how this will pan out.

                    • RewindingtonMaximus

                      So,…you’d like let us text you then right…or call your rotary phone?

                    • Val

                      Lol Landline phones may be the butt of jokes but they don’t cost $150 or more a month. Heck my landline is only about 20 bucks a month and the long distance is included.

                    • Oluseyi

                      I had a 5GB/30-day/$30 prepaid account with T-Mobile. Also came with 100 voice minutes. I’m not talking enough to exhaust that, especially as long-distance calls (the bulk of my calls) move to VOIP.

                    • Val

                      Yeah, I had an account like that once and it was a waste for me because I never used all the minutes. I kept accumulating them and at a certain point I realized I would never be able to use them all or even a significant amount so I cut the cord.

                • cakes_and_pies

                  Not really. But i have three mobile devices. The only pics that get uploaded to the cloud are from one device and innocuous. I’d be more worried about someone hacking my tumblr account cuz *loses signal*

              • Pinks

                Is it an app or a setting?

                • cakes_and_pies

                  It’s an app called dropbox.

                  • Pinks

                    I have Dropbox but I never made it automatically transfer. Let me do that ish now.

            • miss t-lee

              aw dang. :(
              Yeah, I put everything in my dropbox, and google drive.

              • Pinks

                I’m hoping I can plug it into one of those memory card readers or somebody at Best Buy can help me out.

                • miss t-lee

                  *fingers crossed*
                  I hope you can get them back.

                  • Pinks

                    Me too!Thanks

                • RewindingtonMaximus

                  You need a drive extractor. Cheap on Amazon, but get some info at Best Buy first

                  • Pinks

                    I’ve never heard one of those, but I’ll definitely look into it. I’m tired of listening to myself complain lol THanks!

                    • RewindingtonMaximus

                      You’re welcome love

        • Question

          The cracked-screen thing is enough to have me stay away.

    • I have NO IDEA how the 360 sold so much when the failure rate for the 1st models was literally at 54%. THAT is brand loyalty (plus PS3s were 599 at launch).

      • The Master Chief single handedly saved the the 360. At least they were getting them replaced within a week.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        “when the failure rate for the 1st models was literally at 54%. ”

        This is why I’m not an early adopter of technology

        • You can’t trust first gen anything. This is why all the 4kHD TVs are on sale right now.

          • miss t-lee

            “You can’t trust first gen anything”

            You ain’t lying. Let them work the kinks out first.

        • AlwaysCC

          early adopter? have you adopted at all? lol

          • Sigma_Since 93

            See you got jokes.

            • AlwaysCC

              lol i’m sorry – you set yourself up for that one!

          • Lea Thrace

            was just about to say this.

    • TeeChantel

      Ugh, I’m not looking forward to this. I’ve had my Xbox Kinect for a few years now and besides the occasionally humming, it works okay for me. For now.

      • Once the black ones came around, they started getting reliable.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      6 Xbox 360s over 8 years. Bruh I never needed to see Best Buy so often in my life.

      I stay side-eye my Xbox One every day, because its refurbished….knowing one day it will fail me, like Ronda Rousey failed her jaw line.

      • I honestly can’t tell you why I went Xbox One instead of PS 4 but I’m satisfied so far.

        • Bushido Brown

          Love my Xbox One but hated navigating the dashboard

          • I like the new dashboard. I honestly don’t know what features it has because really, I just want to get my Halo on.

  • uNk

    Since this can immediately correlate to the iphone charger, I all the way feel this post. I wonder what my avg yearly spending is on replacing chargers.

  • This is the funniest thing I’ve ever read. But wait, I say that about everything you guys drop. I’m glad I now have names and categories to put to these phases as I’ve endured on at least one occasion. You nailed it to a tee LOL!!!! I’ve literally been eyeing my current charger for the frayed wires for the last month. It’s impending …The challenge is should I just be proactive and get a new one now while its still at full capacity or wait until it goes when I’m coincidentally broke as hell and won’t be able to buy one immediately. “nestled upon a Tiffany Blue satin pillow, inside a bulletproof glass hamster carrier when not in use.”

  • PDL – Cape Girl

    I guess it depends on where you’re getting your life. Give me BBs (shopping) and home improvements entyday over and above electronics. Now that I’m done inside, the folks are here to paint the outside. Yaaaas!! I go with the bare minimum for devices and charges and all things electronic. LOL. Of course for my living, my job provides. So there’s that.

  • UM … THIS NEEDED TO BE WRITTEN! My work laptop is a Mac..my other laptop is a PC and my phone is an Android. Both the PC and Android cords have been chewed to smithereens by my cat. Both work fine. One small tooth-mark in the Mac cord, however, and it’s kaput. I’m on my third Mac cord in 4 months. THEY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING! …Also, I don’t blame the cat and never will.

  • PhlyyPhree

    Close family member who works at Apple for the WINNNNNNNNNN!!
    I ain’t bought a charger cord since 2012 and I’m out here BALLIN with not one, but THREE separate sets of earbuds for work, car, home and a spare in my purse!
    Now if only I could time that friends and family discount right so I could upgrade this 2006 Macbook. Sigh

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Bruh….spread the wealth

    • Oluseyi

      Apple earbuds/EarPods are azz, tho.

  • Pinks

    Swap out Galaxy charger for Macbook charger and this is my life. I continue to roll over it with my computer chair, though, so there’s that.

  • I don’t know why people are still fervent supporters of Apple. This isn’t the mid-2000s anymore where they are far and away better than everyone in the marketplace so the high cost of Apple…anything is a worthwhile trade-off.

    • Medium Meech

      The one thing I like about apple is not worrying about malware or viruses, like at all. Those McAfee updates are not missed either. That and mirroring with apple TV.

      • mssporadic

        Pretty much! That’s my reason for buying a Mac.

        • Niamo Nancy Muid-Davis

          and you can always buy refurbished sometimes cuts the price by more than half for the exact same productivity.

      • tgtaggie

        Had a craptastic hp laptop before I brought an macbook back in ’09. It has been ticking since. I would buy another one in a second.

      • AlwaysCC

        the ease of use between all apple products is genius. i don’t even have to explain how to use them to my dad – and that says a lot! lol

      • Val

        That’s definitely a big plus for Apple.

    • Leggy

      But here’s the thing – Apple laptops last! I’m a believer and that’s why I stan hard for those things. Mine is till rocking life even 2 years after college. (Had it for 5 years with no problems ever) plus Apple customer service is the absolute best.

    • Question

      Except when it comes to their “laptops”. If it weren’t for the fact that my livelihood depended on Excel (and Google Docs/parallels eff up keyboard shortcuts), I would *never* buy another PC.

      But alas, spreadsheets.

  • Medium Meech

    i don’t know why Apple chooses to make their laptops out of tempered adamantium but only uses the most delicate of elf foreskin for their chargers. Like building an indestructible Death Star with a small bulls eye that blows the entire thing up.

    • Because they’re the only ones who make chargers so they make tens of millions a year (just a guess) in just replacing chargers.

    • Jdotdoc

      That is my precise thought verbalized in a way that my feeble brain could have never articulated. After my THIRD Macbook Pro charger died I went on a rampage in their store. The worker there told me with a shrug “hey miss I just work here, do you want to buy the charger or not” I reluctantly bought it and I am now in the denial stage of watching that die too. I wrote a sternly worded letter to Apple and vowed to never buy another Apple product again (which is how I ended up with this Samsung S5 a phone I hate with the fire of 10,000 Mexican suns). Either way I got a letter stating I was now part of a class-action lawsuit against Apple and later got a check for $58. Shrug it’s only about a 5th of the money I’ve spent on those chargers but it was something. ….. still pissed but like a abusive but repentant boyfriend I’m considering taking them back.

    • Kirk

      http://www.thefrayfix.com is all i’m saying.

  • I’m happy to report my Samsung Galaxy speed charger is standing the test of time. ALSO, I mistakenly put my Samsung earbuds through the washer AND dryer…and those joints came out Downy fresh and working like a charm. IDK guys…Apple just ain’t winning in my opinion.

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