The lights in the movie theater dimmed as the pre-Potter previews came to a close. A final message popped up on the screen: Please turn off your cell phones. Dan, sitting beside me, poked me in the shoulder.
“Don’t forget to – oh, never mind, you can’t. You don’t have a cell phone,” he said, laughing.
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Me and my friend Liane are probably the last holdouts in the United States – the last two people without a cell phone. Consequently, Dan has made it his mission to talk me into getting a cell phone. I get a daily admonishment in his efforts to wear me down.
For instance, this past week I went shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner. We have a tradition of being non-traditional; we have steak instead of turkey. I bought a couple of nice rib eyes. But Dan had wanted a filet. I couldn’t choose one so I went with the rib eyes.
“See, if you had a cell phone, you could’ve taken a picture of the filet and sent it to me,” Dan said.
I was gone all day a few weeks ago at various meetings. Dan was perturbed because he didn’t know where I was. “See, if you had a cell phone, you could’ve called me and told me where you were,” Dan said. (HE could have looked at my big calendar beside my computer and seen my schedule for that particular day. All my myriad meetings are written on it. Then again, Dan would say if I had a cell phone I could put all that stuff on the phone’s calendar and I’d have it handy all the time.)
I was out of town for two days, away from landline phone and computer with an article deadline looming. “See, if you had a cell phone, you could’ve made your calls even when you were gone and not be so stressed out about your deadline now,” Dan said as I fretted over the lost time. (And that also led to a discussion of Why Mom Needs a Laptop.)
His biggest ploy, however, is to invoke Spotty, my elderly dog. “What if something happens to Spotty when you’re out? Like he falls down the stairs and hurts himself?” Dan said. “If you had a cell phone, I could call you and tell you.” (This from the same young man who, when I mourned I didn’t know what I’d do when Spotty died, said, “Just make sure you put him in two Hefty bags before you put him out on the curb.”)
I just don’t feel the need to have a cell phone. I used to say I didn’t want one because the only person who would call me would be Dan, asking for money. But now that he’s working he doesn’t ask me for money anymore. I admit there are times when I’m traveling that I would like the security of a cell phone in case my car breaks down. I needed one a couple of weeks ago when I was running late for a meeting and I could have told the people waiting for me that I would be there – just wait a little longer! But otherwise, I am not a phone-talking kind of person and I don’t see any merit in walking around with a cell phone plastered to my ear. I don’t need to be that accessible to anyone, not even Dan. And truth to tell, it’s kind of intimidating, all the different things you can do with a cell phone: take pictures, surf the Web, get updates from all sorts of entities, have all those different, dizzying apps. I guess I’m just not ready to take that big step into the 21st century yet.
But when I do, I’ll give you a call.