This year is drawing to a close and I realize that around Christmas we all start looking to the new year, what will our resolutions be? But a conversation I had with my mother about her new cell phone, her "android" as she calls it made me think backwards, sort of. Mom was complaining about how long it takes her to make a phone call on her new "droid" and that every time she goes to use it the battery is dead, "the battery lasts no time at all, I just don't understand it". I can remember when we got our first cell phone and how foreign it felt. I was pregnant with my 3rd son, I'd lost four pregnancies at this point so my pregnancy with him was high risk. My husband was working about an hour from home and wanted/needed for me to be able to get in touch with him if I had any problems this time, so we got this cell phone. I remember it was a flip phone and I will admit that it was handy if I needed to get in touch with him, or him with me. It made phone calls, it accepted phone calls and that was the extent of it. We took it on vacation with us when we would take the two day drive from our house to California "in case something happened". My mother would be upset because she would try to call several times while we were traveling and we'd never answer. The phone at this point was still just a glorified wireless phone, when we traveled it was turned off and thrown into the glove box as a "just in case" sort of thing.
Flash forward 18 nearly 19 years. Our phones seem to rule our lives. We can surf the internet, call, text, listen to music...the dang thing does nearly everything except the windows. We. are. never. out. of. reach. I'm trying to explain to my elderly mother that her new cell phone is for all intents and purposes a computer. We're three states away from each other and she refuses to go into the cell phone store and ask for help. She's hard of hearing and I just want her to learn to use the damn thing so that she can text since she refuses to write a letter....doesn't matter what type, email or paper, the woman won't write. I don't know why I think she'll text. I do know that she hates when I don't carry my phone with me. My kids hate it too, when they'll text or try to call me when I'm at work and my phone is turned to silent, or I ignore it until I have a break.
I miss 1985. I really do. I never thought I would. I remember searching for a working pay phone and digging around for change so that I could use the phone. I was 23 years old, but my mother still ruled my life with an iron hand (you get off at work at 10:30pm? I'll call your apartment at 11:00 sharp, if you don't answer, then I'll call your friends and their parents until I find you....and yes my mother did this and yes I'm still apologizing all these years later for my mother's insane phone calls tracking down her grown daughter). I kind of wish I'd had a cell phone then. But now I relish the idea that I'm "off grid" for a while. I don't always have my cell phone on me. Rarely is the volume so that I can hear it. Sometimes I feel I just need to slow down and pretend it's 1978...well maybe not 1978 because we shared the phone line with our neighbor, which was a whole different sort of fun when you're a teenager...maybe we'll pretend it's 1980. We have our own phone line, a letter is something you stick a stamp on and send through the mail. You have to be patient, life isn't just a click away.... Maybe that's not so bad.