Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Where's my #&!* phone???

I lost my cell phone. It's not in my purse, my car, my office, my bedroom, or the refrigerator. (I didn't actually look there for it, but you never know.) I'm not one of those people who hug a cell phone to their ears most waking hours. In fact, of the 500 minutes we have on our family plan, we use very few. But I've become so reliant on it, and now the cell phone is not alone in being lost.

I'm glad it's an old (very old by today's standards) model. A magenta Motorola Razr. It's not even a smart phone. In fact, I've always thought it was rather dumb. (Notice I didn't blame the user...) But it contains precious information: the cell numbers and sometimes home and office numbers of friends and relatives. I kept telling myself to record them in a document so that, if the phone died, I'd have them and be able to retype them into a new phone. Never happened. I add this to the long list of procrastinations that I've become infamous for.

I think I can hear some people saying "We got along fine for most of our lives without cell phones!" But think about it. We were able to cope while being away from home because we could always find a pay phone: in a booth on the street, in a supermarket, at municipal buildings, in the airport. Try finding one conveniently located now. And I know I had many moments when a cell would have made life so much easier. Two cases in point:

  1. We were invited to a dinner party that required a long car trip. Admittedly, we left home a few minutes later than we should have. And then we encountered an unexpected traffic jam. This was Chicago, so "unexpected" is ludicrous on a Saturday evening. I got nervous, as I tend to, concerned that our hosts would wonder why we're not there and would worry about us. At the time, there were phone stations scattered along Lake Shore Drive, but I wondered if stopping to make the call and then trying to weave back into traffic would make us even later. A cell phone would have eased the worry and the angst.
  2. We were picking up my daughter when she lived on a very busy street in a very busy and trendy north side neighborhood. Parking was not an option, so she was to wait downstairs in the lobby and watch for our car. Once again, traffic got the best of us, and we were much later arriving in front of the building than planned. Daughter was, to say the least, irritated. She had been waiting in the cramped lobby, peering out the window, and getting more and more annoyed. (Notice I didn't say "worried"...) Much later, when we had a mobile phone, we would call her when we were a few blocks away, and then she would come downstairs.
It's obvious, I view the value of the phone differently than someone much younger would. You don't hear me whining that, until I find the phone or get a new one, I can no longer text my friends and family, I can't take and email photos, and I can't ask my husband which brand of tonic water I should buy while standing in the grocery aisle. (To be fair, I don't text—yet.) I'm more concerned with those times when a call would alleviate worries, advise people to keep dinner warm, or provide a courtesy to someone who's expecting me.

So where in the world is my phone? By the way, don't try calling it. I had T-Mobile suspend my service for now, lest some unscrupulous person rack up charges for calls to far-away places. Before I give up and buy a new phone, I'm going to keep looking.

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