Coming to Terms With a Lame, Less-Exciting Apple

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Unless Apple ( AAPL) does something completely unexpected at Tuesday's iPhone event, it will be too easy to respond with disappointment.

I don't want to do that.

In real life, I just want the ones I love to be happy, free, confused and lonely in the best way. For example, I don't live vicariously through or place unreasonable demands on my daughter.

But that's not how I have treated my armchair relationship with Apple. I'm an Apple fan, completely converted from Microsoft's ( MSFT) inferior OS, Sony's ( SNE) Vaio, which can never be as good as a Macbook because, for starters, it runs Windows, and a once-cool Blackberry ( BBRY).

My household keeps three of the latest, greatest iPhone 5 models, two iPads, an iPad mini and too many iPods to count. To say I'm a devotee is an understatement.

But, for better or worse, I have this Steve Jobs-driven conception of what Apple should be. And if Tim Cook doesn't deliver on these (likely unrealistic) expectations, I'll be let down to the point where anger, a sense of loss and dysthymia concurrently set in.

Feel free to say I told you so, but, yes, I need to get over this affliction. Because that's what it is. It borders on mental illness. Doesn't mean it's not real. Doesn't mean it's not relevant. Doesn't even mean it's not right. Doesn't mean we should stop considering every possible angle -- good, bad or otherwise -- about Apple. It just means we -- people like me! -- have to come to terms with the reality that we might be dealing with a relatively lame, less-exciting Apple than we've become accustomed to ... NO ... than we've been spoiled by these last few years.

In everybody's life there's a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can't go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That's how we survive.
-- Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

If Apple does what we expect, something close to what we expect or something completely unexpected that we don't like much, we -- disgruntled Apple diehards -- just have to hold on to what might be the only and certainly most optimistic reality we have left:

Even if Apple, compared to Apple, is lame and less-exciting, it's better than every single one of its so-called competitors.

When I take a quiet moment and admire my iPhone 5 in my hand, gently swipe to unlock my iPad and/or see how perfectly each syncs up with my Macbook Pro, I come to understand how crazy it is to be so personally critical of Apple.

By "personally critical," I mean holding Apple to the same type of expectations an overbearing father has for his little leaguer. There's nothing wrong with contributing to the discourse of what might or might not be at Apple. That's just part of what we do as humans and I do as a member of the media. However, as a user of Apple products, I finally stopped obsessing long enough to realize how truly great they are.

Steve Jobs spoiled me, but I have to accept that Tim Cook might be the best foster father I'm ever going to have.

Even if Apple stops at what we have today, there's no way in the world I switch to anything Windows, Android or Blackberry. While something like the Q10 looks attractive, it makes no sense for somebody so entrenched in Apple's ecosystem -- and I mean the hardware first ecosystem -- to bail. Any way you slice it, you would be downgrading if all you have known for the last few years is iOS. Nothing can compare to an iPhone and iPad that only merely evolves.

So I'll speculate about Apple like I normally do. We all need something to distract us from what really matters in life. But I'm no longer going to allow myself to be desensitized to the game changers Apple has already produced even if it's true that we'll never see another.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.

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