Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Myellow? Are you there? Is this thing on??"

Yesterday, I got an email from Ms A with her new phone number. It seems she has joined the 21st century and is consolidating her phone service and going cellular. My first thought was: Finally! This was the woman who refused to carry a cell phone, had one, never could find it, didn’t know the number…Which was terribly hard on someone like me who hasn’t had a land line in six years and has developed the cell phone habit. And that’s what it is really, a habit. For years I was able to meet up with people without having to call them minutes before arrival; find restaurants, shops and homes without the benefit of a telephone. As a teenager, I was even able to rendezvous with my mother if we went our separate ways shopping. Now it takes a phone call across Target from son to mother explaining where we are both are in relation to the front door. So what the heck happened? I would like to blame the “need” I have for a cell phone on a shift in the Earth’s space/time continuum but that would be too simple. Lazy is more the answer.

I had privately rolled my eyes at Ms. A because she didn’t have a cell phone. I mean, really! How did she manage to keep up with her two teenagers and her man? She had to be at home next to the phone if she wanted to speak to anyone. So to say I was delighted and smug when I read:

Hi All, I’ve moved up with the times and am bidding adieu to
the old times--a home land line. . .”

Was a gross understatement.

I was planning my sarcastic and pithy reply as I reached for my phone to change the contact number.

What happened next was pure Karma for being a smug Mean Girl.

I unlocked my phone and opened my contacts.
I opened Ms. A.
I clicked options
I scrolled
I scrolled
I scrolled
I scrolled
I re scrolled about sixty eight more times looking for a place to edit her phone number.
Not there.
I could erase the contact but I didn’t want to do that I just wanted to change the frakkin’ home number! I mean really…what the heck was “wrong” with this phone that it didn’t have that function. And I know I’ve changed numbers before because I accidentally changed Wally’s number by a digit and had to call Beav for his number a couple of years ago…more mumbling ensues. More scrolling and clearing and ending and I was almost to the point of just erasing her, after writing down her work number with paper and penso I could ask Wally to change it for me…when what did I see next to the last digit of her dear old land line--a number I was starting to feel sentimental about because she’s had it since returning from Central America to embark on a new and scary life post marriage--

A blinking cursor.

Like a 90 year old woman sitting at her new computer in 1996, I sigh a deep sigh of relief because I could manage this new fangled contraption I held in my hand and by God, I knew what Blinky The Cursor meant. I nervously tapped the clear button and watched a number disappear. Emboldened I tapped it nine more times until all the old numbers miraculously disappeared and Viola! I entered the new number and pushed "save". What's really cool, is this morning I checked and it is still in my phone! Is this a great century or what!

Needless to say, I didn’t send my sarcastic reply.

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