If you were to ask anyone who knows me what my super power is, they would all say the same thing: Losing My Cellphone. If this was a sport I’d be captain, and handily lead my team to victory. I lose my phone at least once a day. When people ask me what I do all day I can honestly say “I do laundry & look for my cell phone”. I can go from my kitchen to my bathroom, then back to the kitchen again, and my phone is gone. It’s usually in the ice bin in the freezer or the oven, you know…. a safe storage space.
For a while I wondered if my townhouse was haunted. This seemed plausible. After all, I’d taken down most of the 14 alarms the previous owner had installed in the 7 room home. Perhaps that really pissed her off? In the end this seemed unlikely, because I’ve made much more offensive changes to the home, like letting a 17 year old boy move in and claim 2 floors (read last week’s “What I meant to do”).
Next I decided my son was messing with me. Obviously, he was moving it, then pretending he didn’t know where it was. This would be a clear example of gaslighting and, if you watched the movie, you know that boys do this to girls to convince them they are crazy and should sign over all of their fortune. This fell apart when I remembered my fortune is a 2008 Nissan Rogue that, when someone hits it they simply walk away, secure in the knowledge that I’ll never notice an additional dent, and a KitchenAid mixer. Oh – & my cellphone….. if you can find it.
In the end I had to accept that it was I, and I alone, who was losing the phone. Actually, I didn’t accept this until I spent an entire day looking for it, only to find it under my pillow when I went to bed that night. Oh – & I’d promised to take a picture of it for my friends when I found it, only to realize I need the phone to take a picture, so…classic catch 22.
I had a decision to make. I could:
- continue running around my house in a rage, looking for my phone;
- get one of those Tile trackers, which I would inevitably lose and add to the “run around the house in a rage, trying to find it” list
- pay attention
- accept that more often than not I would not have possession of my cellphone.
I tried the pay attention thing. Apparently I have the attention span of a gnat. I think I also have Prosopagnosia, aka face blindness, but in my case, cell phones blindness, which I think I should get to name, and I declare it phoneagnosia. There have been times I’m actually looking at my phone in bewilderment, wondering where it is. Literally.
In the end, my only real option was #4. No more running around the house screaming “where the hell is my cellphone” while speaking to my sister….on my cellphone. No more yelling at my son to help me find the phone when seconds before he’d just watched me put it into my work bag.
No more showing up to work and asking a coworker to call it, because I left it at either Home Depot or Ikea, followed by a lengthy conversation about what would happen when some evil person found it ……..only to find it in my pants pocket. Yes, my coworkers often say “Clichegurl!!!”, with that aghast sound in their voice that means we think you need a brain scan.
Going without a cell phone is really quite pleasant. I’m no longer interrupted by the 20 alerts a day from my Ring doorbell which picks up everything my neighbors do but sees nothing that happens in my driveway or my stairs. In fact, it’s is not until someone is actually standing at the doorbell ringing it that I get an alert, probably because it’s exhausted from alerting me every time my neighbor goes to the grocery store; or the bathroom. And, while the lack of alerts is soothing, the real benefit for me of not having my cellphone is that I don’t have to talk on it.
I despise talking on the phone. For real. Some people think this dates back to my teenage years, when homes had 1 phone number for everyone and only 2 phones, attached to the wall. When I was a teen I hung with several different groups. I played the flute, really well, so I hung with the music kids. I was on the gymnastic and swim teams, so I hung with the athletic kids. I was a cheerleader so I hung with……the “rah rah”? kids. Most importantly though, I hung with the cool kids. They liked me because I had an unlimited supply of cigarettes and alcohol. Endless talents, eh? Yes, the cigarettes were Tarryton, and yes the alcohol was a flask filled with little bits of alcohol from each bottle in my parents liquor cabinet, but it was better than they had, so I was in.
If you don’t already know, cool kids spend a lot of time on the phone. They have so much to discuss. They aren’t like the musicians who can only talk about their favorite new band, the orchestral piece they’d recently mastered, or the piece in G minor we were about to learn. No, cool kids had important things to talk about. Things like “Linda rolled her eyes at me”, or “Stacey was talking behind your back”, or “don’t you think we should ignore Susan, because she wore black pants today? It’s like she wasn’t even listening when I said it was pink day”. I think it’s fair to say that it was not my fault that most nights I could be found hiding in the closet, the phone cord stretched to almost breaking, either gossiping on the phone or waiting for the phone call that would reveal who had really talked about who. It wasn’t my fault I was a cool kid! I think the case could be made that it was my father’s fault, because he was the one who supplied the cigarettes & booze! Supply might be too strong a word……..
Unfortunately for me, my family disagreed, thinking it was 100% my fault that I was on the phone all night and, by the time I was 13, refused to even answer the phone because 99% of the time it was for me. Perhaps I’d used up a life time of phone conversations between the ages of 13 – 20
Honestly though, I don’t think that is the real reason I hate talking on the phone. I think the real reason is SAHMs (stay at home moms).
Unless you have gone from being a full time working mother with a nanny to a SAHM, you can’t really understand what it is like. I went from earning a paycheck, having quiet time, carrying on interesting conversations, solving complex probables and peeing all by myself, to making grilled cheese sandwiches, screaming “don’t do that” all day and peeing with an audience. One day I was valuable, the next, ummmm, not so much. One day I was writing training programs, the next I was making breakfast, cleaning up, making lunch, cleaning up, making dinner cleaning up…all while listening to little children cry because they wanted hot dogs and I’d served mac ‘n cheese. Imagine going from being gently corrected because you wrote a run on sentence, yet still getting a paycheck, to being screamed at because you failed to serve hot dogs, AND you no longer have an income. It is not an easy transition.
Once you are a SAHM you quickly realize that you need to find other SAHMs. There is only 1 way to survive 24/7 with small children – sharing your pain with others in the same boat. I joined the local gym, not because I wanted to work out but because they had free babysitting from 9:30-11. There I met the group of women who would become, simultaneously, my lifeline and the bane of my existence. Here is the problem with stay at home moms – & I say this with love and respect, because the case can be made that it is the hardest job in the world – we are boring as shit. Actually, shit is less boring than SAHMs.
As a newly minted member of this group, I was expected to talk on the phone – a lot. I was to use my children’s nap time and the hours after the kids went to bed on the phone. I was even supposed to talk on the phone while one child was screaming and another rifling through pill bottles in the medicine cabinet…..or playing with knives…..or smearing poop all over the wall. You get the idea, right? In a twisted form of fate, I came upon what I can only liken to the Stepford effect – SAHM’s drone on and on, usually about the most trivial, boring subjects imaginable. A conversation might go like this:
SAHM #1 (caller) Hey. What are you doing?
SAHM#2 (me). I’m scrubbing my laundry room floor with oxy clean, because it is preferable to bathing and putting the kids to bed.
SAHM #1. Cool. I get it. I love that oxy clean. I used it to scrub the siding on my house, and I put it in my laundry, did you know you can put it in your laundry, and hey – did you know you can use it to clean your refrigerator and the kids diaper pail , and your driveway and patio, and it’s on sale this week at BJ’s although I often wonder, is it really cheaper there or should I get it at the grocery store with a coupon, speaking of which, blueberries are buy one, get one and I have this great recipe for blueberry coffee cake that I’ll give to you because the kids will love it and how else can you get them to eat fruit, right? and did I tell you I was at the grocery store today and I saw SAHM #3 and you won’t believe what she said about SAHM#4…..
All of this is said in one breath. How do they do that? When do these women breath?
As you can see, the conversation digressed into one remarkably similar to the cool kids conversations of my youth. The main difference is that there is no mom in the background hollering “get off the damn phone”, because I was the mom in the background. Ugh.
Which brings me back to my cellphone. I was kind of enjoying the fact that it was missing. Like, last week I was supposed to call my sister and fill her in on some family drama….yes, otherwise known as gossip, but OH NO – My Phone Is Missing. Gosh darn, guess I’ll have to binge watch Real Housewives instead.
This is not the worse thing that can happen, right?
The only real issue with losing my cellphone is my teenage son. Initially he sent me texts like:
- Hey mom-heading out with friends, OK?
- Mom, it that ok?
- Mom are you there?
- You know, you always yell at me when I don’t answer my cellphone and now your doing it to me. WTH mom?
- Fine. Don’t want to answer me. I’ll just go.
Now, because he knows chances are I don’t have my cellphone, he sends me this:
& I’m okay with that, except someone pointed out to me that he is a minor and I am, technically, still responsible for him.
In the end this is really Comcast’s fault. Why? Because they came up with those damned “triple play” packages. I am way to smart to fall for that scam.
What? It’s actually cheaper to buy triple play, and you get the advantage of having a house phone in case you, say…..lose your cellphone?
I sign off today – deep in thought, searching for my cellphone……..
Clichegurl, able to lose her cellphone in one swift movement. Is there a cape for this?
One thought on “What I Meant to Do – Cell Phones”
Dear MurphyCee: I am an ex-SAHM. I am ROTFL. Thx. Bye. TS
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