Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Smarter Phone

Originally published in the Miami News-Record on April 10, 2016.

Right around the time we disconnected our satellite TV we changed up our cell phone plan. Just like with the TV, we were tired of paying an astronomical amount on phones as well.  Paul’s favorite tirade (right after his lengthy speeches about the unfairness of the turnpike tolls – remind me to tell y’all about that one someday) is when he starts in on how “Back in MY day, we didn’t take our phones with us everywhere because they were attached TO OUR WALLS.” And of course, then he’d take a deep breath and immediately say that for what we’re paying on our phone bill, we could make “a heck of a car payment”. Except I like my car and he likes his truck, so I’m not sure why we need to make a car payment… But, as soon as contracts started expiring, I started shopping.

I made a call to our carrier and just basically told them I didn’t want to  utilize another company’s buy-out deal but I would if I had to and that I really liked their service, I just didn’t like the price that kept showing up on the bill every month. Fortunately, it worked. She worked a bunch of stuff around, offered a lower price for more data than we were currently getting – IF we wanted to add a couple of smart phones.

And that’s where I balked. We let Abby and Sam switch over to smart phones a few years ago and Kady has just been counting down the days until she could have one. The kids would belittle my adorable little phone with the slide-out keyboard in attempts to bring me into this century. They would ask me to please not use it in front of their friends. Once while sitting in the parent room at our homeschool co-op I whipped out my little phone, slid out the keyboard like a boss, and proceeded to send a text – quite adeptly I might add. My friend nearly spit out her drink when she saw it. “Oh my gosh! I haven’t seen one of those in years!” When I told her my husband still had a flip phone I thought she was going to pass out from laughing so hard.

So when they said I could add two smart phones and upgrade Sam’s to the newer version than what he had all while lowering our bill to the tune of $100, I took a deep breath and said, “Okay. Let’s just do it.” She noted everything on the account and we headed to the store in town. Before I left I asked Paul if he wanted to upgrade to a smart phone. He said a word I don’t dare type lest my mother pass smooth out and my editor fire me. I asked if he at least wanted to lose the flip phone, maybe go to one with a keyboard. “What? I just learned how to use this one!” I reminded him that the phone he was currently stroking like a Persian cat was almost five years old. While he clutched it to his chest like it was his most prized possession he reminded me of the five hellish days he owned a slider phone and how he threw it across the room while cursing his large thumbs. I told him the next phone he got was going to be a Jitterbug made just for senior citizens. He gave me a dirty look and called me a whippersnapper. 

I have to say, I’m enjoying my smart phone. I’ve sent my share of horrible autocorrects that have left myself and my unfortunate texting partner laughing. I WAY overuse emojis. I text the kids and when they don’t reply immediately send, “Thanks to the fancy smart phone you insisted I get, I know you’ve read my text. Reply now or you’re grounded.” Then I send the angry face emoji. Then the kids roll their eyes. No need for an emoji there. They convey that face in real life just fine.

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