It seemed like a good idea. After all, I was holding a Blackberry, and Carrie: well…do they still make those flip-tops?

“Let’s give each other I-phones for Sweetest Day,” she’d murmured.
“OK,” said I weeks ago.

Then the day came, last Saturday. And the phones came, last Saturday.

And the change came—last Saturday—just past noon.

“What’d you get Carrie for Sweetest Day?” asked my brother that night.
“We bought each other matching phones,” I submitted.
“Margie needs to hear this,” he said. “I want to vomit.”

I should know by now: if it’s not broken, don’t fix it…

We’d look forward to a new bat and forward to a new glove. Eagerly don’t we anticipate even the crisp crackle of a new deck of cards? But a phone? This sensitive thing we can’t push but must touch?

Look, I’m not against progress. Not all change, though, is progress. (How my dad railed against microwave ovens! “They’ll be the downfall of the American family”, he pronounced. Forty years later, he wasn’t far off).

First of all, my old phone, “ghetto” as they told me it was, worked. I got my calls, read my texts, and because it was a used phone to begin with, had the pleasure of retrieving NO email. What a machiah my “down time” was! What a burden it’s been—this past week—eyeing missives post minute by minute….

When can I rest?

Not that I actually understand the phone. Not that I even care to. Heck, happiness would flow from just being able to have certain songs ring when certain folks call….like “Eli’s Coming” when it’s New York, or the theme from “I Love Lucy” when Chicago. (Do I have tunes in mind for some others? Yes. I’m not ready yet—quite—to grow up).

In some ways though, the week was one long birth announcement—

“Did you buy a ‘4’ or a ‘5’ someone asked.
“I don’t know.”
“What model?”
“An ‘L’, or maybe an ’S’.

“What color did case did you get?” asked one child. “You cheaped out,” claimed another.

Oh, I knew eyes would roll with the children. Even Jason. There he was, slowly, in speech calibrated with care, trying to tell me how much “data” I was wasting. Data? What was he talking about? I was doing batting averages in my head long before he was born. Data!

And what of the others?

“You’re an idiot”, claimed Stace as she tried to explain things. Hers was a global approach. Michael, on FaceTime, stayed local. “Your nose needs a zip code,” said he.

Just give me some songs. That’s all. Maybe the thing by One Direction for Carrie’s calls, or “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” for H-ie. That’s all I need. Must I schlep my laptop to someone’s house to get it done? Heck, even Weiskopf has sounds.

I’ve got all this other stuff, though. Things I need not

There’s an app that says CALENDAR, which today notified me its “Wednesday 30”. (Good to know). There’s another yet, dubbed WEATHER. (For six decades I’d wake up and look out the window or I’d dial WE 1-1111 where the “voice” of Aunt Helen gave hourly updates).  And still another called NEWSTAND.  I say F the NEWSTAND app.  I’ll read whatever I want over breakfast at Corky’s!

No, if it ain’t broken going forward, I don’t plan on fixing it.Nor do I plan, ever, on opening up CLOCK, or GAME CENTER, OR for that matter PASSBOOK, (whatever that is…I won’t touch the pic to find out). No, I adore Carrie, love exchanging gifts with her, and look well to next time.  But better to hold her than hold the phone. And better to touch her than touch an app.

And speaking of apps…did I mention there’s one called COMPASS?

COMPASS? Really? Really? That last time I took a wrong turn was on our trip to Verizon.

That was last Saturday…just before noon.

5 Responses to “LOVE ON THE TELEPHONE”

  1. alan wieder says:

    As usual Carrie was right and in spite of you being a Luddite and receiving familial ridicule — your I phone will serve you well. Happy Birthday

  2. stacy says:

    I have never called you an idiot. that was mean.

  3. bob says:

    I know Alan is a professor but I don’t think you are a luddite since you aren’t destroying the phone only sayig you don’t need all of its apps. Now if he were to call you a lugan that would be more fitting. I did relate to both your problems with the phone as well as your children’s comments. All true and all comical. We are old. Happy Birthday.

  4. Aunt Helen says:

    Bruce, again you are wrong. I called you an idiot. You just proved me right by attributing my comment to Stacy.

    What is wrong with you?

    And happy birthday.

  5. Stuart says:

    Sounds to me like the day you picked up your mustang convertible and your contacts. There was the twinkle in the eye back then. Besides, you haven’t even figured out all that Siri can do for you yet.

Leave a Reply