This morning I had a list of things to do that stretched from one end of a football field to the other. I grabbed my phone, my list, my purse and the dog, and headed out before 8 a.m.. I dropped the dog at the groomers and decided to stop for gas and a coffee. That's when my day went astray.
As I got out of my car I remembered my daughter telling me to lock the car manually because a friend of hers had her car broken into when she used the automatic key chain to lock her car. It seems burglars have the ability to block the lock, and so even if you think you locked it, you haven't. The second I hit the lock and shut the door I had a sinking "Oh no" feeling. I looked back in my car and sure enough, there were the keys, my phone, my list and my purse.
Now what? I had seven dollars in my pocket. That didn't give me many options. I bought a large coffee and asked the girl behind the counter if I could use her phone. She had to ask her boss, but the boss said yes and I called my husband. He ignored my first call (he was at work and it was a strange number) and it went to voice mail. I tried again. This time he answered.
He listened to my tail of woe and told me to call OnStar.
"I can't," I said.
"Because I canceled it."
"Why did you do that?"
"I did it to save money. Can we talk about why I did it later? Just please call them and have it turned back on so I can get out of here."
"Ok, sit tight."
What else was I going to do but sit tight? The gas station had a restaurant attached to it so I found a table close to the door and sat down to wait. I felt a tad bit out of place. It must have been hunting season. Not only was I not a man, I wasn't wearing camouflage and wolfing down sausage and biscuits. I stuck out like pole dancer at a church social. I listened to stories about the size of racks (I think they were talking about antlers, but really not sure) and tales of the big one that got away.
A lady tapped me on the shoulder. "Are your keys locked in your car?"
"Yes," I said.
"Your husband's on the phone."
She handed me a portable phone and left.
"Is OnStar going to let me in my car?"
"No, they don't let people in unless they are calling from inside their car. You could be a burglar. I'm calling the boys and they'll bring you the spare set."
I went back to sipping coffee and listening to hunters telling stories while I waited. I was so mad the steam coming off the top of my coffee could have been coming out of my ears. How could I have been so stupid?
And then it hit me. I wasn't really mad about being locked out of my car (although that was an inconvenience) I was mad that my cell phone was locked in my car. I couldn't scroll Facebook or other social media. I couldn't check my email. I couldn't even call someone or text without asking to borrow a phone. Without my cell phone I felt like I was sitting in that restaurant stark naked and I didn't like it one bit.
I started thinking about how attached I was to my phone. It goes with me everywhere. I'm never without it. I even take it to the bathroom. Once I dropped it in the toilet and that was not good, but since then I've been more careful to keep the phone in my hand and not my back pocket. I make pictures of recipes and look at it while I cook in my kitchen. I am NEVER without my phone.
I looked around at the camouflage men. They weren't looking at phones. They were either looking at each other or their food. The waitress was working and looking at her customers. Wow! They were making eye contact with other human beings and not playing on their phones. How did they do that?
Cell Phone Addicts Anonymous
The first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one and I do. I am addicted to my cell phone. Some where there is a recovery group for cell phone addicts, or if there isn't one, there will be soon. I suppose I should join but I really don't have the time or inclination.
For almost an hour I sat at a table and people watched just like I used to in the old days before cell phones. I saw some interesting characters, heard some great hunting stories, even ran into some friends I hadn't seen in ages who offered to take me home but I declined because my sons were on the way.
When my sons arrived with my keys I thanked them and unlocked my car. My list of things to do was still there, and so was my purse. I waved goodbye to my boys and put the keys in the ignition but before I started the car I checked my cell phone.
After all, I might have missed a call or a message.