| Posted in:Family

confusion Incommunicado

I think my BlackBerry is making me stupid. Or co-dependent. Or some other adjective that denotes dumbness that I can’t muster the brain power to think of.

It appears that I’ve become one of “those” people - the kind of person completely dependent on their cell phone. I used to laugh at those people. I used to hate those people, and still kinda do. But at the same time I never considered not having one. Why not give up zippers and pasteurization while you’re at it? When one friend explained to me that she doesn’t carry a cell phone, it was as if she said she ate puppies for breakfast and thought using toilet paper was “over-rated.”

The kids and I were out for dinner  Saturday night when I discovered my BlackBerry cold and dead at the bottom of my purse amid a crime scene of broken crayons and gum wrappers. And I had no way to charge it. (My phone charger broke when I used it to secure the Christmas tree to the roof of my van.) So now I was completely cut off from society. We were headed to the movies, and PM was going to meet us there. When I realized I wouldn’t be able to reach him for the standard last-minute meeting update, I got shaky. Finally I pulled myself together and remembered that he said he’d meet us at 6pm.

We arrived at the theatre I saw his truck in the parking lot, but I didn’t see him anywhere inside. I couldn’t text him, and I couldn’t call. I was completely without agency.

I started freaking out.  

What should I do? Should I go ahead and buy movie tickets? Had he already bought them? Should I get some snacks? What would he want? Was he hurt somewhere? Had he tripped on a patch of ice? Was he now lying under a Honda Civic in the parking lot, only 150 feet away, but unable to call me for help because I was a phoneless idiot who used her phone charger as a bungee cord?

What kind of partner was I? WHAT KIND OF PERSON WAS I?

I didn’t know what to do. I lost all ability to rationalize. My problem solving skills and reason had evaporated right along with my BlackBerry’s flux capacitor. I turned around and around in a circle, arms outspread, dumbfounded and incoherent. My son thought we were playing the spinning game and got dizzy and barfed gummy worms on my shoe.  

So…cold…I…I…I can’t feel my legs…

Going to the movies had never been so stressful. Lying on the sticky theatre floor, I recalled the carefree movie going days of my youth:

 Me: Wanna go to the movies tonight?

Them: Sure.

End of planning. Hours later we’d be in our seats, drinking apricot brandy from a canning jar swiped from my parent’s cold cellar, smuggled inside a Hyundai-sized purple pleather handbag. No cell phones were necessary in the planning of the event. Why? Because we trusted each other to be where we said we would be, when we said we would be there. We didn’t call each other 17 times to arrange meeting times, or text to discuss show choices, or Blackberry PIN someone at the snack bar to instruct them what snacks to buy. We used our brains and common sense, not our fingers and a keyboard. 

Things happened organically. If you were at the theatre, you watched the movie. If you sent a friend to get the snacks, they made a choice. Your friend could be late for the movies and you’d assume she was running late because she couldn’t find her keys, not because she was lying underneath her car, frantically wishing someone would invent the cell phone so she could call for assistance.

I miss those days.

But not as much as I miss knowing where my people are every moment of the day, and so tomorrow I will be picking up microchip homing devices…er…phone chargers for stocking stuffers.


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  • Berta

    I can relate! We went shopping on the weekend and before I got out of the car I realized my phone had died. We seriously had to sit there and discuss contingency plans for 5 minutes about how on earth we were going to be able to find each other in the mall without being able to text. lol

  • http://pettiteavis.blogspot.com Avis

    Imagine going on a long-distance train trip, getting settled in your seat, and realizing that your charger? It’s still plugged in next to your bed. The phone you have with you, but not the all important charger. Oh, and you’ll be with some VERY religious family members for a week. And the train ride takes more than 24 hours (and is always late, so you’ll need to call that family and tell them when you’ll be arriving)
    That wasn’t one of my better travel experiences.

  • http://www.heartonhomestead.blogspot.com Jessica

    I want to know where everyone is every moment of the day. I mean, even on Twitter — people I don’t even know but I find myself wondering what’s wrong when they don’t tweet like they normally do. Like, I immediately think of doom.

    It’s a sickness. Really. I feel your pain…

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