I’ve had a cellphone for four days now.
I haven’t taken it to bed, I don’t use it at the dinner table, and I’ve only dropped it (then accidentally kicked it) once.
Everybody at work has been terrifically patient when, multiple times a day, I grab them and say, “Hey! How do you…?”, “Hey, where is…?”, “Hey, I need to know how to…”.
Honestly, it’s a miracle of humanity that they don’t run when they see me coming with my phone in my hand.
I’m keeping my landline and answering machine, though. These days it’s a conversation piece.
The day I got my phone activated, my very first text was to my dad—it was his birthday. It was a day of firsts for him, too. It was the very first time he received a text and texted back. My mom’s the big communicator; even written speech.
My very first photo was immediately emailed to The Kid.
It was one of those summer camp signs they put up at busy intersections in the spring.
This was a working farm. You pay for your kid to go to camp there, and they get a “real-life farm experience”. The Kid and I interpret this to mean you pay big bucks for your child to be turned into a tiny little farmhand.
They also have senior camps which cost plenty. We picture them giving their mill ponies the day off and hooking Grampa into a harness and having him walk in circles all day.
It’s so hilarious to us that it’s become something of a meme in our house.
So, when these signs started showing up around my work, I knew this would be the first photo I’d take on my twenty-first-century version of a tin can and some string.
The Kid enjoyed it as much as I’d hoped.
Later, at work, trying to open the photo to email it, I took a photo of my keyboard and a moving motion picture of my keyboard, slowly panning up to my left eyebrow.
I’ve had fun choosing a ringtone (Queen’s Freddy Mercury singing, “Somebody” over and over again). And a notification sound. I chose music from Shakey Graves, a favorite singer of mine. There’s only one catch; whenever our dog Crowley hears it, he loses his mind. He runs over to me, barks at my phone, then runs around, continuing to bark in my general direction.
Guess he’s not a Shakey fan.
Yesterday I was showing a young man and his family a pre-owned car. I mentioned CarFax and the father asked how to get one. I told him that he could retrieve it online and all he needed was the VIN (vehicle identification number). It can be found on the bottom of the driver’s side windshield.
I walked over and began writing on the pad I always carry around.
The twenty-four-year-old son walked up. “Oh, you’re writing it down? I took a picture of it, but that works too.”
It had never even occurred to me to photograph it.
The best thing about the new phone so far?
The absolute shock of my friends when they get a text from me out of the blue. The texts go something like, “Guess who got a cellphone?” Lots of OMG!’s and No Way!’s in return texts. But one friend observed that since I was the last human in the galaxy without one, it wasn’t that a hard guess. The resigned perplexity about me never owning one has been replaced by the gob smackery of my finally acquiring a cellphone.
It almost makes up for the blistering shame of being a giant technological sellout.
Thanks for your time.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.