I think it's the time of year.
I am being nudged.
Springtime, it seems, not only summons our inherent need to clean house, to rid ourselves of overflow and redundancy, to make everything sparkle anew, but also rouses a more nuanced, or unconscious, impulse to shed layers of constraint, free ourselves of ties and responsibility. Scrap the superfluous.
Like cell phones.
What I'm hoping won't trend: Left atop his fathers car, Max's cell phone was lost to a zephyr. (Or was it to absentmindedness?) Though, to his credit, he'd trained his phone to be as blithe as he—refusing to part with its view from the rooftop, the LG Cosmos succumbed to great forces only after its mile-long joy ride down the highway.
If I could only say with more certainty what happened to mine. I know only that this past Sunday, while out with Lulu, miPhone was lost somewhere between the myrtle fields bordering the pebbly coastline of southern Rhode Island and the high tension tar-carpeted strip of commerce somewhere in the middle of the state, an area of which I have little familiarity. A frenzied hour of backtracking, mad dashes through mall stores, phone calls to coffee and dress shops, proved futile. (I blame this unusual circumstance on a poor night's sleep and a too early lacrosse game.)
... unlike my pearl experience...
...turns out this family is not good at hunting down phones.
I am being nudged.
The same Sunday, along the same tar-carpeted strip somewhere in the middle of the state, a well-trained and darling girl at the Verizon store took me for a dizzying walk through my options. I don't remember how we arrived from one place to the other, but when we finally came to a pause by the hardware, the girl, having placed a series of phones across the counter, waited for my response. And all I could think, my mind a pasty white of garbled thought—my schedule, my contacts, my music, my photos, my flashlight, my whole life, everything, encrypted into this vanished phone—all I could think was: What did the fortune say? It had been sitting on the windowsill above the kitchen sink for the past week. What did it say? When the moment comes, take the last one from the left. I had pondered this ordinance all week. Scrubbing pots, loading, unloading the dishwasher... take the last one from the left.
How does one know when the moment comes that it's the right moment? What does the last one from the left mean? Does it mean not the last one on the left, but the one to the right of the last one on the left? (This is why I hadn't aspired to Let's Make a Deal stardom.)
Well? the girl nudged me.
I took the pricier one on the left. It came with a personal assistant known as Siri, and I thought, at this juncture, it would be wise to keep a PA in my pocket. Lu and I left the store, returned to the parking lot along the tar-carpeted strip somewhere in the middle of the state, and having no GPS but a new PA, we consulted with the well-paid Siri before backing out onto the road. Lu, asking: Siri, how do we get home from here?
And Siri, in her monotone chest voice, answering: I don't know where your home is. In fact, I don't know anything about you.
(I think, maybe, I misinterpreted take the last one from the left.)
This week, Siri and I are getting acquainted. I'm learning about iClouds and syncing and the gravity of a little sham known as phone insurance. The thing to which we must all submit, for if we fail to do so, if Siri—my bibelot—is sucked into a black hole by the vacuous crazed brush of a Dyson-on-steriods, and she is entirely uninsured, her replacement cost will be more than three times as much as her retail cost.
What happened to the days of plain paper maps?
And wood-framed, phone-cradling, glass boxes on the side of the road?
I am being nudged...
Perhaps what I should do is leave the last one from the left.
* * *
This week, and last, I've been nudged into a series of events that are keeping me from communicating with many of you. My map's in hand, though, I'm navigating through the snarl, and will hopefully find a return to the normal (?) within the next week.
Thanks to the sharp-eyed Rubye of Rubye Jack, and to David, one of my favorite Brits in the USA, for gifting to me the Kreativ Blogger Award. I've affixed it, with much appreciation, to the sidebar. :)
This is all very well, of course, and new cell phones must be bought if the current ones are misplaced - on purpose? - but did you try, or are you still trying, to phone them? Somebody, somewhere might have picked up a lonely, unloved phone and might be willing to return it/them to its/their grieving owners. I expect you have indeed thought of doing thus.ReplyDelete
I am not sure I'd start the spring clearance with a phone, they are so horribly expensive to replace.
Friko- Excellent question. On purpose? Hmm... well, one wonders, eh? I raced to the nearest Verizon store after coming up short on that tar-carpteted strip, and had my phone service shut down pronto. If someone found the phone, they wouldn't have much trouble figuring out who it belonged to, as all of my emails flow through it. But I haven't heard from anyone.Delete
Yes, expensive to replace, but they've become a necessity in this non-stop world!
Nudging is right! So many I know are feeling this!! I just took a major leap of faith and feel relief I never could've imagined!!! Intuition, baby.ReplyDelete
Btw I got my first smartphone this year 'cause of the 8mp camera. Turns out it does other stuff too. Fiddle dee dee :-)
ecogrrl- Ah yes, intuition! Won't steer you wrong. Have fun with your phone--they do, in some way, make life a bit easier. But I'm minus some fabulous photos, and a great video of Lu winning her 100 sprint at the track meet. That hurts. :(Delete
I should collect more fortunes to assist me. I'm so bad at making decisions.ReplyDelete
At least you're not afraid of technology. I usually tell the verizon clerks I want the largest, simplest phone they sell. I don't want to hold a postage stamp sized thingy up to my ear. Something with heft to it and no bells and whistles. One clerk said to me, "You mean, like a brick?"
Ha! Leonora- I know I've used fortunes before to assist me. It must look like we're always having Chinese here. We order out maybe 2x/month from an excellent Chinese restaurant in town, and they always throw extra fortune cookies in the bag. I wonder if that kind of dilutes their effectiveness?Delete
Oh, don't be fooled, I fear technology, I do. But I've owned a cell phone since, well, since they were bricks, and I don't think I could go without one now. Might as well make it one that multi-tasks!
Oh Jayne, I'm sorry for your loss. Losing a cell phone is akin to losing a purse, in that it holds such personal items. The last one to the left. Who said this to you? The phone gods? It sounds as though you made the right choice. Now that you have Siri you will never be alone. Perhaps Siri is the omnipresent phone god who will never leave or forsake you. Although, you having free will, are apt to thoughtlessly abandon her as you did the others...ReplyDelete
Good luck with your new phone. I hear that once you get to know Siri she can be great fun.
I've been in NC for the last two weeks and have lost all sense of balance. I too should return to my normal scheduling of posting and visiting some time in June. Tonight is my first book signing and I am a bit amped about it. Onward...
It's the lost photos that are bothering me the most, Leah! Ugh. I really should invest in a decent camera, but I'm afraid I'd lose that, too. But if it were a BIG one with wide straps that I tossed over my shoulders... that might help, right? Ha!Delete
Siri and I took a little break. I'm sorry, I just can't take her seriously and I tease her too much. I think she might be mad at me. :-/
Leah, do tell more about your book signing gig, please!! Next post! So excited for you. :D
oh my goodness, jayne, you are really good at losing things and finding them. but the phone is gone for good? that's too bad. my husband and all three kids have their lives on their fancy iphones. scary, but they are easily replaced. i don't want one of those. mine is simple—just texting and yakking (ha. i'm with leonora up there. i'm happy with the basics. a brick? not quite, but that's really funny!)ReplyDelete
and the superfluous? did we reach a decision on that? and what did ever happen to plain paper maps—i love paper, i love maps. questions, questions.....
Gone for good, m. So it seems. If it does ever decide to show itself, at least I'll have a back up. Honest, I'd never, ever lost a phone before! Never broke one! So, this is why I didn't have it covered by insurance. My son's phone, though, well, its taken a dip in pools more than once. This last incident, though, was his phone's first flight. Oh yes, that kid has the insurance.Delete
I have a thing about maps. Have always been fascinated by them. Globes, too. A friend gave Max a night globe (it lit up) years ago. He kept it on his bedside table. Every night we used to take it for a spin. I'd have Max close his eyes, spin the globe and stick his finger on it to make it stop. He'd then have to guess where his finger had landed. He got pretty good at geography, too!
Superfluous. Too much!
On this "failure," you're not alone [The Atlantic]. :)ReplyDelete
One of my favorite bits here is the confusion over "last one from the left." Speaking for myself, I'd have been immobilized by that!
Well, if ten cops and the Drug Task Force (are you kidding?) can't find a phone, I guess I don't feel so bad. But I pay for the tracking device! What a racket.Delete
Last one from the left. Really? Ok, I feel so much better--it's alright to be immobilized! I'm in good company. I'll bet it's easier to choose a door number. ;)
And here I thought the nudge would be to forget the whole thing and go cellphone-less! I've no doubt the reason this came to me was my own experience on going to Wales. First, I learned that I couldn't even buy a package that would allow me to make international calls. My cell phone, all of a year old, isn't, apparently, "up to date." Nor can I update it without phenomenal expense until December. Then, there was the first night in Wales. To use any electronic equipment, including recharging batteries for the camera, laptop, e-book, and the cellphone (if it had worked), you need an adapter. I was Girl Scout prepared, with two, both of which worked fine in the past. Neither worked. So, there I was, entirely dependent on electricity. I was at a total loss, and I thought, that is it. I am going to wean myself from electronics RIGHT NOW. (Of course, the way it looked, I had no choice . . .). The worst was the camera, I realized. The cellphone, already useless, mattered little. And I did have two honest to goodness books, and was in a country where I (more or less) spoke the language . . . It was a revealing moment.ReplyDelete
Ah, Sue, if I only could go phone-less! It's near impossible with my kids' schedules. Hard to believe you couldn't work out a way to make international calls--especially since your phone is not old. That's the thing about these gadgets--they have a short useful life. Nothing like becoming obsolete after a year or so.Delete
Gosh- I can't believe this all happened to you! Your camera, too! And you've posted some great photos of the concerts--I never would have guessed...
Those hopping-off-the-grid moments are wonderful, but only when done so on our own terms. ;)
I realize I didn't give the denouement, which was that all was well: my portable surge protector was the culprit--it was tripping the hotel's circuits to the room. Once that was dispensed with, I was entirely wired again. You are absolutely right, off-the-grid is great if chosen, not so much fun if it's not.Delete
Oh my, can you believe that I still use paper maps and call stores for directions? I missed the last train that left, but I'm still waiting at the station. Most would think that a girl in her thirties would have jumped the fastest technology train she could to compete with all her friends, but I'm traipsing through la-la land with a bunch of my fellow cross-eyed rebels. We haven't found our own confusing and clever fortunes yet. Maybe it's too late.ReplyDelete
I am very sorry about your smartphone. If only Siri were smart enough to tell you if you two were meant for each other. She needs to get her act together.
You brave soul--you're one of those smart cross-eyed rebels! And I doubt very much that it's too late for you, Hillary.Delete
I'm in the process of training my Siri. :)
Great story. It has "nudged" my thoughts. I wonder if past generations have seen as much change in their time. Probably,right? It just seems so mind boggling. Sick days,at home from school. Monty Hall. Let's make a Deal. Then reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Shoe.Young Mary Tyler Moore as his wife. Phone booths for making out and Superman.Maps are still my favorite reading though.ReplyDelete
You think about how rapidly the world had grown in the last century alone, so, yep, each generation has their own perception of how quickly things change--and not always for the better.Delete
Oh Dick Van Dyke--he was one of my favorites! I loved that old show. And MTM. What young girl didn't want to have her job, make it on their own. That's another thing that's changed--TV! It will make me sound old, but I have to say, I don't think TV's changed for the better.
Making out in phone booths--thems were the days. ;)
to lose one's cell-phone: horrible! What you tell is a series of nudges that I would almost call knocks. Before going to London I decided against buying an i-phone instead of my normal cell-phone - I had time to regret that, though I had a map.
I share your feelings about buying new technical items - but in the Vodafone shop or at O2 I will now know whicht to take: the second from left! (And if I don't like it, I'll change my position :-)
Brigitta--ha! Oh, it's the second from the left! Is it the second from the one on the left, or just second from left? E-gads I do love to complicate things, don't I? Mother would be proud. And she'd probably be the only one, also, who would be amused. I'm going to have to tell her about this, because Mother does not use the internet. She has a phone, though. And it may be the oldest living phone around. ;)Delete
Jayne: Congratulations on the blogger award. You are--in my opinion--a brilliant writer. I have some experience losing cell phones and learned to let the Cell Phone vendor "backup" all of my contacts and numbers into their computer base and not my phone. That lesson was learned the hard way. Believe me. Anyhow, I was nudged to stop by here and as always, I'm glad I did. Enjoy the movie. ;DReplyDelete
Thank you, Michael. I'm going to be backing up a lot more these days. See, I'm backing up so much I don't even have time for a Friday Night Frolic!ReplyDelete
Actually, what I'm really doing is packing. And probably unplugging for the remainder of the weekend. I'm getting the sense that I should do this, yet I am still tempted to try to write something this evening. Yet, yet... I have this nice glass of white in front of me and it's telling me to join it for a movie... ;)
Thanks for stopping by, Michael. Glad you where nudged!
I can not even count the number of times my daughters have lost their phones, dropped them in water, broken them. I refuse to buy them an iPhone until they can demonstrate responsibility. (Of course I will never tell them about the iPhone that I lost....)ReplyDelete
Very good idea, Bill. Besides, do they really need the distraction of the internet in their palms? My little sprite won't own one while she's still in school, that's for sure. Neither will Max. And I know some of their friends still don't have a phone, so we mustn't feel guilty about denying them. Not that I do. ;)Delete
I haven't lost a phone yet, but I did jump in a lake with one in the pocket of my swim trunks. The girls are really pushing for phones, and I'm sure there will be loses, nudging me into new levels of compassion and patience.ReplyDelete
It is amazing, and a little frightening, how dependent we are on these phones nowadays. I'd fight it, but resistance is futile I'm afraid.
Oh, Tim, I know that story. Haven't done that myself, but my son has. Accidents happen, and I guess we can't expect it to be any different with phones.Delete
Futile, yes, absolutely. The difference is that our kids are involved in multiple activities during any given week. When I was a kid, we'd ride our bikes to the park for a pick up game. But now, everything is scheduled, games and other activities are often away and require carpooling and we're racing in different directions for each child. Awfully hard not to have a phone with all the juggling required. Meh. ;)
so, good. it isn't just me. last one from the left is different from last one ON the left. my kids have had this talk with me before and we'll have it again. one of them says: "from" implies you are moving from a lefterly direction so the last one from the left means actually the first one on the right. skip a few sentences and we can arrive at why i am not a good cook. the instructions paralyze me. :)ReplyDelete