It’s pathetic how easily I’ve been trained.
I lived without a cell phone until I was well into my adulthood. Frighteningly, I was unaware of how much I needed to call home and see if we needed bread, let my friends know I was standing in line, or use it to convince potential muggers that I was on the line with someone massive who was inexplicably close enough to retaliate on my behalf should anything untoward happen.
I say all of this, of course, while acknowledging that the day before I bought my first cell phone I had spent three hours on an off-ramp in rush hour traffic with a dead car, frantically wondering if it would be better to just go ahead and pee my pants or if I should continue to “hold it” until I died of undignified causes.
For those of you playing along at home, I held it.
I was self-righteously puckered about that first phone. What? Me? Use a mobile phone to tell someone I’ll be late? Me? Tap into the latest in technology to ask “I dunno – what are YOU doing?” Me? Make a phone call while walking down the street just to ask someone “Who was that guy in The Big Lebowski? You know. The one the big guy kept telling to shut up?”
Blamelessly indignant, that’s me.
Kept that up for about three days.
Slowly, I fell into the cell phone abyss.
Will I be five minutes late? Better call!
Do we or do we not have Dijon mustard at home? I’ll call.
Willie’s in the backyard but it’s all the way down the steps and out a door? Maybe I’ll just call…
I exaggerate only the teensiest of bits.
Of course I’m better now. I’m back to using it as a regular phone, which means there are times when I don’t even answer it.
There’s a deliciousness to being incommunicado.
What do you mean, where am I? I’m out.
And yet I remain under the cell phone’s thumb.
It’s the buzzer, you see. I hear it, nestled deep in my desk, where it lies in its own pocket deep in my purse. I’ve set it to “vibrate”; and I can ignore it all I want, but it’s saving up those calls, letting me know how many I’ve missed, humming in that quiet, insidious way it has: Pick me up. Pick me up.
Will I have to set it to "silent"?
As I said: Pathetic.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, wherein Pearl continues to gripe about modern conveniences. Hey! People at a party taking pictures of themselves at a party: Look at what a good time we’re having!
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