The Day My Cell Phone Aged Me

This past weekend I lost my cell phone.  Since it was my birthday, I chalked it up to age and hoped my next mishap wasn’t losing my teeth.

Don’t worry about the cell phone.  My son found it for me.  I think children are hard-wired to locate items of modern technology.  It’s a skill similar to radar devices that detect heat-seeking missiles.

But, on Saturday, my phone was lost.

I wasn’t worried.  You see, I haven’t spent money on a phone in years.  Oh, I pay for the service, just not the telephone.  It’s my dirty little secret.  I collect, some say hoard, old cell phones and chargers.  I take all the reject phones from friends and family and put them to good use.  I like to think of myself as a recycler rather than a techno-moocher.

Saturday was my big birthday shopping excursion and I found myself in a mall that makes a football stadium seem small.  I took FringeKid and told my husband and son I’d give them a call later and we could meet up for a bite to eat in the food court.  I discovered my missing phone when hunger pangs struck.

Since I was near H&M, I figured I’d browse and then ask a clerk to use the phone.  The young men behind the counter broke out into laughter when I inquired about a phone.  Apparently a person without a cell phone is a like a person without ears, only more hysterical.

So I set out in search of an older, wiser, hopefully more helpful sales clerk.  Lord & Taylor was nearby.  Generally when I go into a store like Lord & Taylor, I am ignored.  Maybe they recognize the Target clothes on me.   I guess I look like I cannot afford their merchandise, and it’s mostly true.  My daughter usually gives us away when she picks up a price-tag and yells $298 dollars!  It’s all awe and wonder for her.  She’s only familiar with $19.99.

So I found a lovely clerk at the makeup counter, mustered my courage and asked.

“Excuse me.  I have a crazy request for you.  I seem to have misplaced my cell phone, and I am wondering if I can borrow the store phone for a quick call?”

“That’s not too crazy.”  She said.  “Believe me, I’ve had people ask for worse things.”

“Really?  Worse than asking for a store phone, because the guy with the eight inch gauged earlobes in H&M thought that was a request from some time in space, like way back in the 90’s or something.”

Stuck in an aging gloom that wrinkle cream couldn’t help, I considered all the outdated things I cling to.  I mean, I still have a VCR in my house.  I felt technologically stunted, deficient in the new ways of an ever-changing world.  I felt like my cell-phone came with an antenna.

I was aging right in front of my ten year-old baby girl, and feeling older than my usual twenty-nine until a women in Macy’s stopped me and asked for my help.

“Excuse me dear.  Do you know how to work a cell phone?”  She asked.

“Well the nineteen year-old in H&M doesn’t think so, but let me give it a try.”

She explained how she was trying to take a picture of some leopard-print stilettos for her daughter, but couldn’t get her cell-phone to cooperate.  I grabbed the phone, scrolled through the options, flipped it over in my hand and said, “I’m so sorry, but your phone doesn’t have a camera.”

In that moment, all the pieces of my old-fashioned world fell into place.  I knew there was hope for me and my outdated technology, because my lost cell-phone has a camera.  I wanted to hug that woman with the antique cell phone.  She gave me the greatest gift of all – my youth.

Comments

  1. says

    LOL–I want that Michael Douglas phone!

    I also use hand-me-down phones…I recently upgraded from my late Grandma’s “Jitterbug” to my sister’s old Samsung-something that actually has a QWERTY keyboard. I’m actually digging it!

  2. says

    Great post. I once made the mistake of looking at my outdated (like, no texting, still monochrome screen, no camera) phone during a class I was teaching in order to discern the time. An 18-year-old in the front row said a tad derisively, “I used to have that phone.” And I was only 26 at the time. Needless to say I soon got a new phone that was a little more discrete about how still uncool it was. I don’t have (or want) the Internet in my pocket, but at least I can text and take bad photos.

  3. says

    I live in fear that if I ever lose my cellphone I will find that stores no longer even have “store phones”! After all, when have you last seen a payphone?

    We just got texting on our phones last year. It is the greatest thing. Alas, my dear husband refuses to learn. So much for love notes on the phone…

  4. says

    Well I am one who loves their cell phone because we no longer have a landline so if I lose my phone I’m screwed. I thought I didn’t need to be up to date on all the new technology but quite frankly it keeps me young so my kids help me keep up with stuff. I got an iPhone for Christmas and I love it. Now I think I want an iPad (when the funds allow)…..gotta keep up with my kids!! I refuse to be an old fogey!! My husband on the other hand loves his flip phone!!

  5. says

    Hilarious! We could have traded in our cell phone five times by now I think! Hubby keeps it because he knows how it works and doesn’t want to learn how to use a new one. xo ;)

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