Friday, December 18, 2009

A Battle Lost

Whenever an epic battle is lost, one I’ve not only witnessed but participated in – nay, fought alone against a foe – there is a sense of relief that the fighting need not continue, and even conceding feels good. Such is the case with my heroic war on cell phones.

Part of the reason for conceding is that I can actually talk on the phone less, and I…


talking on the phone! Now, instead of calling people, I text them. It’s a gift from the gods.

Also, when I’m running late, which I always am, I can use the cell to warn people of my temporal failing, and for those who don’t [know me and know to] expect me to be late in advance can be forewarned of my soon-to-be lack-of-timely-presence and hear humble apologies before the offense has been completed. It results in fewer apologies by me because I can apologize for the tardiness instead of apologizing for the tardiness as well as apologizing for not being able to call and say I’m going to be late. Less apologizing makes me feel better, and perhaps one day I will not have to apologize at all because I’ll learn to be on time. Perhaps.

The problem now is getting accustomed to carrying this thing around with me wherever I go, in addition to familiarizing myself with the various functions.

For instance, my throwaway phone has no keyboard, and texting takes me forever, not to mention that in my haste I don’t proofread and often send bizarre words that have no known meaning. The time consuming act of using the number pad to communicate has caused me to do undignified things like walking into furniture or tripping on unseen objects because I’m walking around with my eyes and hands glued to my phone, trying hard to finish a two sentence message inside of 5 minutes. Thankfully I have the layout of my house so memorized that I could easily walk from my room, down the 13 stairs, around a corner, into the kitchen, pour myself a glass of milk, then go back up to my room, and never open my eyes once. My brother caught me walking down this exact pathway, texting the entire time, and only when he yelled out to me that I was an honorary teenage girl did I even realize he was present. Clearly I could alleviate much of this issue if I’d get a better phone with a keyboard, for which I am in the process of shopping.

Another example of my proletarian experience is obvious if you’re around me and I’m suddenly alerted to an incoming text or phone call. If the ringer is on, I tend to not even recognize that it’s coming from my pocket and will glare at others nearby who might be offending my ears with their cell noises. While napping recently, I received a text, which rings once and then re-alerts me a minute later, and a minute after that until I respond. I heard the ringer faintly disturbing my slumber and picked up my home phone only to be greeted by a dial tone. In my sleepy state, I cursed and set the phone back down, but a minute later the ringing returned and I repeated this entire process until my frustration peaked and I turned the ringer off on my phone. When it rang again, I realized what it was but was then too awake to return to dreamland and begrudgingly rejoined the conscious world. The conscious world participating in cell phone activity.

If the ringer is off and it’s set to vibrate, hijinks are unavoidable. The sensation of a vibration going off somewhere on my person is so shocking that I have had to pick myself up off the floor, after flinging the part of my body being vibrated right out of my chair. Once I was holding the thing when it started vibrating and before I could register what was happening, I’d throw the cell phone across the room to break contact with the living, pulsating thing in my grip. Another evening I was sitting quietly on the couch cutting coupons, with my precious little money-saving scraps of paper separated neatly in piles stacked all around me and on my lap. When my cell phone started vibrating in the pocket of my jeans, I let out a relatively quiet squeal while bucking briefly off the couch, sending a shower of coupons across the living room. Fortunately for my ego, my brother was around for this as well, and in his usual sensitive and tender manner, he laughed and called me an amateur. You don’t even want to know what I’ve done when it goes off and I’m driving. (Special note to Leelu: it’s like...GOOD MORNING!)

So, while I feel that having a cell phone has made my life somewhat easier, it’s definitely complicated other areas. However, since I’ve clearly lost the battle against them, it seems only fitting that I take the leap and acclimate to a life tethered to this little machine. For everyone’s sake. And despite everyone’s amusement.


Anonymous said...

Cell phones, I am convinced, are the Devils Dingle and I refuse to carry one. I talk to patrons everyday, deal with family the rest, and if anyone want to find me when I'm MIA, tough luck. All I see are people walking around talking crazy-talk and texting each other like lab apes trying to win monkey kibble. I'd rather read a book, listen to music, pick my toes, my nose, burp, or ruminate like a thinking cow than gab on a cell phone. What really gets to me are mothers on cell phones who totally ignore their loving infinks so mommy can go all glaze-eyed and talk to Mavis the BF--maybe that's why kids are crazier nowadays.

Stephanie said...

I too HATE talking on the phone and I now have unlimited texting with verizon and I love it! I also have a qwerty keyboard - I didn't realize how much I loved it til I used someone else's phone and it took me a year to type a message. And if you feel like you've surrendered in the fight - never fear - at least you don't have a blackberry. Then you'd be WAY too connected.