Friday, September 9, 2011


Our house is in the middle of a technological revolution. I am really, truly, getting a cell phone. This represents a fundamental, comprehensive, and yes, possibly violent reordering of civil society in our house. It's a lot like what's happening in Libya.

This photo isn't relevant
to the post at all, but I was
going through some old pix
and thought I'd stick this
one in. Also, look! A clean
house in view behind Stella.
In theory, I actually got a cell phone about a year ago. At that point I had semi-involuntarily scheduled two back-to-back cross country trips (with kids) involving airports in four different destination cities. I generally have an overly optimistic view of what I am able to accomplish when travelling with two kids -- show me Mount Everest and I would say, "I could totally get a stroller up there, no prob" -- but even I realized that to retain any sanity I would need to get a cell phone for those trips.

So a year ago I bought a pre-paid cell phone from Target, the kind that flips open and was technologically advanced in 1989. (By which I mean 1989 B.C.) It did come in handy once or twice on the trip, and then when I returned home I threw the cell phone in a drawer and never used it again. I wanted to make sure that nobody called me on the phone, so I kept my phone number a highly guarded secret, which I did by forgetting what my phone number actually was.

The result is that when I first got the phone, I bought 400 minutes of air time, and now, a year later, I have...396.5 minutes of air time. So clearly it's time for me to upgrade my hardware!

Two goofballs.
Last week David got a fancy new cell phone, and passed his old smartphone down to me. Woo-hooo! I got me one of those fancy phones! Which is good, because let's face it -- anyone who does not have a touch-screen smart phone is an out-of-touch, socially awkward loser. And while that may have described me last week, now everything is different. Now, I am an out-of-touch, socially awkward loser with a smartphone. 

But already there is trouble in paradise. The phone is a Palm Pre, which from what I gather isn't actually made anymore, and so the apps are limited. You might not think this would be a problem considering that the pre-paid flip phone had exactly zero apps, unless you count as an app the fact that it flipped open.

But here's the deal: if there is one single thing that I want to be able to do with my phone (other than text and call), just one single solitary thing, it's this: I want to know when the damn bus is coming. There's plenty of apps for that, but none that I can find for the Palm. It is the pinnacle of Western civilization to have your cell phone tell you just where the bus is, and it pains me deeply that I can't have access to it. Also, I would like an app that pets my cats for me. But that's another issue altogether.

Despite my hesitations, I am jumping with both feet into the world of cell phone users. I'm even thinking it will make sense to drop our land line soon. That makes me a little sad, because I'm emotionally attached to the phone number we've had for as long as I've known David. But I don't think we can justify keeping the land line if we both have cell phones, unless there's some sort of new functionality that I'm not aware of. If the land line can pet my cats, then all bets are off.


  1. You can port your landline. Translated, that means you can move your landline number to a cell phone. I did back in 2006. I had to cite federal law to the customer service folks at US Cellular, but I kept my landline number! I still haven't upgraded to the Smartphone.....trying to figure out how the damn thing works is too hard when you have little kids that get you up in the night...

  2. I still have a 1989 B.C. model from Target. About the only calls I get are (daily) win-a-cruise robocall originating from area code 202.

  3. You could win a cruise?!? That's a reason to have a cell phone right there!