Thursday, July 15, 2010

Never Leave Work Without It

So yesterday I left work loaded down with my workout water bottle, insulated lunch bag, massive janitor-size set of keys and my purse, which is more like a suitcase and if weighed at the airport would result in over-the-weight-limit fees because it probably wouldn’t fit in an overhead compartment. What can I say? I need my “stuff”…

My evening’s plan was to sweat at the gym for a while and then afterwards, in my sweaty but triumphant state, stop at Target for some allergy pills (damn pollen!), and then to the library to pick up some desperately needed reading material. Jane without a book to read is not a happy person who in times of desperation has been forced to read the ingredient list on product packaging in the pantry. And nobody really wants to see that – it’s sort of pitiful.

At any rate, I was talking about leaving work. I drove about two miles away when it occurred to me that the one thing I’d left behind on my desk was my cell phone. OMG. I am never without my cell phone! I briefly considering hopping the divider on the highway to turn around and head back to the office to get it, but I decided that the repair costs to my vehicle would be too much to pay just to have my security blanket – aka my iPhone – in hand.

But seriously, there were about three times during my drive to the gym where I desperately wanted to turn back toward downtown.

How sick is that?

A little over a decade ago I didn’t even own a cell phone. Now it has become my lifeline. It wakes me up in the morning. It accompanies me on potty breaks. It alerts me to late-breaking news that someone has commented “LOL” on someone’s Facebook page that I earlier indicated I “liked.” It is my source for the latest news – both serious and wacky. I mean, where would I be in this life without knowing that some robber bungled a bank heist by writing “Gimme all your money” on the back of his own deposit slip?!

Oh, and occasionally, I make calls on the damn thing. Like to tell Vince that my commute to the gym took longer than anticipated, so my ETA at home would be approximately 16 minutes later than expected and that he shouldn’t call 911 or the National Guard to set up a Search and Rescue Op.

Sadly, I could do none of those things last night. And we had to set the actual alarm clock on my actual bedside table so I would awaken on time this morning. The whole time I kept feeling like something was seriously missing.

Sigh. How did this happen?

When I was single, I even got rid of my home telephone since I never made calls on it and pretty much only took calls from telemarketers, despite being on the National “Do Not Call” registry.

So, without a home phone, it seemed to me that having my cell phone with me at all times was imperative. Sure, we can argue that mobile phones were not imperative in prehistoric times (the scientifically named PCP, or “Pre-Cell-Phone” Era) when telephones were tethered to the wall, and we weren’t able to carry them farther than the cord would stretch, which basically meant about 5 steps in any direction from the phone’s location on the wall.

Yet we somehow managed to get ourselves to school and work without a piece of plastic surgically attached to our ears to broadcast our minute-by-minute progress with family, friends and coworkers.

We even managed to meet friends at various locations at the time we’d prearranged with them to meet. Sure, sometimes there were snafus – traffic problems might cause someone to be late. Or someone might get grounded at the last minute and not be able to alert us that they wouldn’t be showing up. But somehow we were able to deal with it.

At this point, however, I don’t think there is any turning back. I was disproportionately happy this morning when I came in to work and became reacquainted with my little friend in its shiny red cover. And, even though the “low battery” alert was flashing, I still lovingly tucked it into my pocket knowing that it would be there to get me through the next traffic jam. Or potty break.

How sick is that?!

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