I have a thing about phones. They are a necessary evil, like paying taxes or getting your teeth filled. Email is one of the greatest gifts the 20th Century gave mankind, because it freed us from so many damned phone calls.
In my defense, I am old enough to remember party lines, rotary phones that made it easy to misdial, and that incessant busy signal that was unleashed every time my sister was on one of her marathon gab sessions. Primitive man did not have voice mail, touchtone phones or call waiting. We did not have instant messaging or email. I still associate those painful memories with talking to someone through a piece of plastic and metal.
In the beginning, I resisted getting a cell phone because I didn’t want to be bothered with phone calls when I was walking down the street minding my own business. I finally got one because everyone else was doing it and I felt stupid. I signed up with Verizon Wireless, got one of the phones that they offered free with a 2-year contract, and became a sidewalk menace like everyone else. My cell phone and I soon became attached at the purse pocket and, occasionally, at the ear, in spite of my continued distaste for phone conversations.
Fast-forward to two weeks ago. Verizon Wireless was again offering me an upgrade on my phone, in exchange for a 2-year renewal of my contract. This time, though, I wasn’t going to go for any old thing that worked that I could get cheap. I wanted the best, the apex, the gadget of gadgets. I wanted a tiny machine that could do everything except prepare dinner. In other words, I deserved a smartphone and I was going to have one!
Imagine my excitement as I went onto the Verizon Wireless website, signed in and started to browse through the devices. I saw that, even with the truly considerable discount, some of those little newfangled thingies were beyond a receptionist’s budget. I sorted the list out by “prices: low to high” and looked at some of the pitiful offerings at the top of the list. Further down, though, my eyes fell on some iPhones, and my pupils dilated with irresistible desire. They were not cheap, but I could swing the prices. Better still, they were just what I wanted. For this, I would gladly sign my soul over to Verizon Wireless for two more years. I ordered an iPhone 4S. I had to increase my monthly cell phone bill to do it, but I didn’t care. I wanted my toy. I even ordered a cover for it, with pretty blue flowers.
I had to wait a few days for the phone to arrive. I was like a kid waiting for Christmas. I wanted my nice new phone and I wanted it NOW! My impatience was tested to the limit when there was an additional one-day delay. Instead of delivering the package to my landlords, who were home, the FedEx delivery guy just left one of those notices on their door. I signed the notice and put it back up on the same door, with a note telling the FedEx guy to please (as in pretty please with whipped cream and a great big piece of chocolate on top) ring the landlords’ bell because they would be home!
I think I gave a whoop and did a little dance when I found the package by my door the next evening. Well, maybe I didn’t dance. I’m sure I whooped loud enough for the people up the street to hear me, though.
Unfortunately for me, the package was delivered on a Tuesday. I had to wait until the next weekend to have time to read all the instructions, recharge the battery and play with my new toy. The box sat on my couch for several days. Finally, the day came. I opened the box, read everything that came with it, took the phone out and tried to figure out how to set it up. Unfortunately, I needed wifi to do that. I guess the Apple people think that if you are sophisticated enough to want an iPhone you are also the type who will have wifi at home. Well, they’re wrong.
It was then that I realized that I would have to wait AGAIN to get my new phone completely set up until I went back to work and had access to the abundant wifi on campus. We have wifi hotspots all over the place, including right at my desk. It’s probably killing my brain or something, but it’s worth it when I want to load a new book onto my Kindle or set up an iPhone. What are a few brain cells when I can get the latest J.K. Rowling or Stephen King novel cheap, or be able to access the Internet on my phone without anyone seeing what I am doing?
I played around so much with my iPhone 4S that I had to charge it up twice that first day! Of course, I couldn’t resist trying out the camera and the video camera, accessing the Internet, checking my email and turning the thing on and off just for the heck of it. If phones could think, feel and talk, this one would probably say, “Who the hell is this crazy broad and how did I end up with HER?”
I’m sure the novelty of this will wear off, but I hope it lasts at least a little longer. I’m having too much fun.