Tuesday, October 26, 2010
On Sunday my BlackBerry died.
It's not like I had time to think about it right then. I had just walked in my mother's house with her and my stepfather, having gotten them from the emergency room where they'd been transported after a car accident. So right then I had time to think only about this: my injured eighty-year-old mother teetering down the hallway, making her way to her bedroom to undress and somehow climb into bed with lacerations and bruises all over her body. So, even though I'm a slave to the blinking red light of my phone, hypnotized by its allure, unable to resist its blinking call, I ignored it and took care of my mother.
You know how you always hear these phone horror stories, like about people losing all their lists of contacts and phone numbers and why didn't they just back it up before that happened, before disaster hit? Well, of course, that's what happened to me. I didn't back anything up, mostly because I didn't understand the back up technology. Like, copy it to what? Online or a memory chip in the phone? Ack. Here was my backup plan: one day I was planning to sit down with my phone and handwrite all those contacts into an actual paper phonebook. With all the time I've spent procrastinating over the last few months, you'd think at least I could have done that one thing, which would have been useful.
Instead? Dead BlackBerry flatlining in my palm. Injured mother on the couch. Tow yards, body shops and insurance companies calling nonstop, doctor appointments to be made, all of these places wanting to fax something, email something, text something. Phone needed.
Providentially this happens to be four days before our plotted defection from Verizon to AT&T and, perhaps, an iPhone 4. So what to do for a phone in the interim? My husband gives me this thing he has laying around the house. A flip phone. To text I have to go through the entire alphabet for each letter. No emails, no internet. I'm completely unwired in the daytime, like it's 1990 or something. It's like he handed me a chisel and a tablet and told me to scratch out messages.
But somewhere in my brain it's dawning on me that this thing I'm using is actually just what it's supposed to be: a phone. I now also know an incredible reason to have children, beyond the cute baby stage, beyond the make-me-proud stage. It's so when you're eighty and can't handle the small details of your life anymore and can't quite talk to strangers about how they're talking too fast and you don't understand them, it's a good thing to have your adult children standing like a fortress around you.
Do you back up your phone? Do you remember when you were really excited just to have a phone and now have to have a high tech gadget? Any preference between BlackBerrys or iPhones? Have you had to become the "parent" in any circumstances to your parent?