Thursday, February 14, 2008

WTF: Valentine's Day Edition

I thought it would be fitting to post today about relationships of different sorts. Coincidentally, my perspective on the relationships I want to focus on here falls into the WTF category, which I guess is sort of convenient.

Here is the first thing I want to share:

I can't say that I personally feel that my relationship was strained due to my vegetarianism, but then again, I might not be the right person to ask.

The second thing I want to share is that a certain love-hate relationship that I have been involved in has been giving me welts. Who is this abusive lover? you ask. None other than my Nike+ ipod armband. For some crazy reason I thought, when buying it, that an armband designed by a sportswear company who had also designed it to be used specifically would be a quality product. I was attracted to the fact that it had been designed with the runner in mind, that it was sleek and lightweight, and that it even had a reflective pattern on it. I wear it frequently, since I run frequently and like to get information on my runs through the nike+ sport kit even when I am not listening to my ipod. I like the information into the Nike+ website. I love the little chip and its little receiver and the fact that I can get such accurate details about my runs. What I don't love, it turns out, is this armband, which I hugely regret buying. The reflective pattern doesn't actually reflect, but that is the least of my concerns. What bothers me more is the fact that every time I run with my ipod in the armband, the area that holds my ipod gets covered in condensation. It's pretty disconcerting to look down at your beloved ipod midway through your run only to find that it is chilling in a sauna. It is also upsetting to remove the ipod from the armband after the run and find that it is covered in moisture, and I mean really covered. So, if my ipod shorts out because I have been using a product sold at Apple's stores and designed to be worn while I run, will Apple or Nike replace it for me free of charge? I'm sort of guessing that the answer to that one is no. The armband thus boasts a major design flaw: it is made of a synthetic material blend--theoretically great for moisture-wicking; however, it is pressed up against the user's arm for the duration of a workout, which means there is nowhere for the moisture to wick to. Without ventilation, moisture isn't going anywhere but to the beautiful reflective metal backing of my precious baby ipod. Why not just reinforce the backing of the armband with something that would act as a waterproof shield between the body and the ipod? Oh, well, because that would mean that you are getting what you paid for and you are a satisfied consumer, and Nike clearly wants you to feel ripped off and cheated.

Perhaps the most personally painful part of this whole ordeal is that when I run at the gym, and I don't have my armband on over several layers of long-sleeved apparel, the strap repeatedly rubs my upper arm as well as the area below my armpit on my torso and actually gives me welts. The elastic closure straps of the armband may be sleek and lightweight, but their edges are stiff and just cut into the skin repeatedly, creating significant pain that I don't think a thick layer of Body Glide could soothe or prevent. At this moment in time, I have a semi-permanent (it has been there for weeks and doesn't seem to be going anywhere) mark from one of these welts, as well as two new ones that I got from trying to adjust the armband in the hopes that if it sat a bit higher or a bit lower then the chafing would be eliminated. No such luck. Armband: 3; Emilie: 0.

And thus ends my tale of woe. I feel stuck in this abusive relationship because I don't really have another $20-$30 to spend on a new armband that will do what it should without ripping me to shreds. This whole thing has made me realize that Nike doesn't care about me, they care about making a sale. I was naive to think otherwise. And now I just have a bitter taste in my mouth: the bitter taste of capitalism.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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