As of this Monday, I finally and for the first time became the proud owner and user of a cell phone.
Before Monday, we have had a cell phone that we used in emergencies: it's call a "Trac" phone; you buy minutes and add them when you need them. The trouble was, sometimes the "Trac" phone would not work at the times when we most needed a phone. Like when we visit my sister in Phoenix, for example. It never works there. There must be something about the wild wild west. When we travelled to New York two years ago, the phone worked fine on Thursday evening and all day Friday until 4:30. Then it was done. "No Service."
Finally, at the end of May, I was going out of town just overnight, and I knew a parish member was very ill and in the hospital. I left our "Trac" phone number with the church. But the phone did not work in the small Minnesota town where we were spending the night. "No Service."
I realize that I have come somewhat late to this cell phone business. My husband and I are simple people; we have a pretty frugal lifestyle. But we do have basic cable television. That has been our one luxury. Until Monday.
I did not get a fancy phone with lots of accessories. Truth be told, a friend gave us a perfectly good phone which I took to the store when I had decided which plan was best for me. I'm using that one for now. Who knows, maybe in a year or so, I'll decide I can handle a Blackberry with all kinds of bells and whistles. For right now, I'm just glad that people can get in touch with me when they really need to, and that I can get in touch with others as well.
So far, I've just given my number to a few people, including, for example, my sister, my mom, my step-sons. I haven't gotten a lot of phone calls, which is just fine with me. In fact, I've missed a couple of calls so far, because I'm not used to fishing the phone out of Where-ever It Is That I've Stashed It.
I do think it's going to come in handy. But I noticed that, even though my mom now has my cell phone number, she hasn't started calling me all the time, "just to chat."
So, I want to go on record: "Thanks, Mom (and whoever else) for not calling me on my cell phone -- "just to chat."
Thanks for not calling me to find out how I felt about Al Franken being our new Senator.
(Frankly, I'm just relieved to have two senators right now.)
Thanks for not calling me to ask about Sarah Palin, either. (I have no idea.)
Thanks for not calling me to ask whether I think it will rain, what I'm doing right now, or who's preaching this Sunday, or whether I'll ever twitter again (I have no idea).
But, if you are going to be in New York City next week, and want to get together: shoot me an email! I'll send you my new cell phone number!
Or, if you have some advice for me in navigating these uncharted cell-phone waters, I'd love to hear from you!