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The Phone That Wouldn't Die

Updated on October 13, 2015
Sallie Mullinger profile image

Sallie is a retired mother and grandmother who has written short stories for most of her life. Her stories are from her heart to yours.

We are married to our cell phones. When we have them we are unaware of what its like to NOT have them. I've found out a few times.

Remember the word "dingbat" which Archie Bunker used to describe his wife Edith?

And the term "airhead"....do you know people who own that nickname?

I would hate to think that Im as much a dingbat as Edith Bunker but Ill admit that airhead isn't far from the truth.

Im the person who came back from lunch, one day at work, and in front of my co-workers and without realizing it, tossed my keys (as tho tossing them onto my desk) into the trash can. Said co-workers said nothing but waited until 5:00 to witness the frantic searching for those keys for Oh! about 10 minutes before they showed me where I had put them.

I am also the person who while out shopping one Saturday afternoon with a friend, stopped at Wendy's for a drink and a burger, pulled up to the speaker and ordered and then, while talking to my friend, reached into my purse, pulled out the appropriate amount of money, and handed it out the window.

To the speaker.

Yes, Sallie (dingbat). You are supposed to pull forward and actually pay the human being waiting for your money. (the speaker doesn't give change anyway).

And..I am also the person who this evening, while in downtown Cincinnati and waiting outside her parked car for friends to come out of the Convention Center, made a phone call with her phone and then placed said phone on the convertible top of her car as she unlocked the car and rearranged things in the back seat.

There would have been absolutely nothing at all wrong or unusual and certainly nothing "barbie-like" about that. But what WAS very barbie-like would be actually driving away with the phone still on the roof of the car. (and Im not even close to being blonde).

Well..it didn't stay on the roof of the car for a very long time. As I turned a corner, I heard a noise and noticed something black fly past the drivers side window. I had no idea what it was and didn't bother to stop and investigate since it was downtown Cincinnati and rush hour.

The twists and turns of this story are truly amazing and a real testimony to technology. But first..a bit of background to set the mood.

I. Have. A. Blackberry.

There. I said it. In full disclosure, I have admitted to the entire world that I still own a Blackberry. And what's worse is that I LOVE my Blackberry! I love the keyboard, as opposed to touch screens which sometimes you can touch 100 times and still nothing happens. I love that I am comfortable with my Blackberry and that it does everything I need it to do and probably a lot more that I don't even know it can do. And I love that it loves me. More on that and why I think it loves me later.

My children and friends and basically anyone who knows I have a Blackberry, cast disparaging comments my way and roll their eyes and I am sure judge me to be some old, out of touch, tech challenged person, who simply cannot master the latest and greatest technology.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I remind them that I was internet savvy back in the days of Napster, before any of them had ever ventured "online". And hey! I know how to navigate Facebook and Pinterest and Google and Email and I can even check the weather...all from my "not smart" Blackberry. What more do I need or want a phone to do?

But its OK that they think the way they think because Im quite comfortable with my trusty, VERY un-trendy Blackberry which has served me well and I make no apologies for loving it...still...here in the 21st century when clearly it's a dinosaur from some ancient civilization.

So tonight, I was merrily enjoying my friends and excited to be having dinner at Cheesecake Factory and just enjoying the gorgeous evening when I realized that I didn't have my phone with me, in my purse, where it always is. So I trotted out to the valet and asked if they could go and get my phone out of my car for me. He said he would but he had to retrieve a car for someone first. That gave me time. And time, my friends, is exactly what an airheaded dingbat needs to begin re-tracing the events which led up to that nagging feeling that her phone wasn't going to be IN her car because it had been ON her car and was now lying crumpled/trashed/broken/smashed into smithereens on Walnut Street in downtown Cincinnati.

There is a moment when you panic...OMG! My phone! I have no phone! (no matter what the brand of phone and yes, even a Blackberry). And then that moment is followed by slow acceptance. It is done. It is over. It has perished. It is smashed. It is lying, face down, a crumpled mess of phone numbers, pictures, text messages and emoticons. You can do nothing about it. Get thee to Verizon tomorrow and make your kids happy by leaping into 2015.

I wanted to make sure that my husband knew why, if he was trying to call me, that he wasn't going to have much luck reaching me, but then it dawned on me that I didn't remember his phone number. Nor did I remember either of my son's phone number's or my daughter Shannon's phone number. The only number I did remember was my daughter Katie's phone number. So, using my good friend, Julie's phone (Julie isn't an airhead and doesn't leave her phone on the roof of her car...or even my car) I called Katie and left her a voice mail message. I wish I could have seen her face when she listened to it. I am sure her eyes were rolling.

But therein lies the link to my earlier comment about technology. How many of us actually know phone numbers anymore? Everything is coded in our phones by name, photo or song and we never actually enter phone numbers. Ahhhh..I began to realize how dependent we really are on these little boxes we carry with us, wherever we go, (even to the bathroom) and how we are slaves to their utter and complete convenience.

It wasn't a good day to be a Mullinger because when Katie retrieved the message and called her Dad (if you're having trouble keeping up, that would also be my husband) he then phoned Julie's phone (she's the one who still had her phone) to talk to me to tell me that he got the message but was sitting and would be sitting for another hour waiting for AAA to come and change a flat tire. He was stranded on Interstate 75.

At least HE had his phone!

This poor Blackberry, which is maligned by anyone who is at least 20 years younger than myself and made fun of and called "Crackberry" and generally spit and spat upon mercilessly, has been put to the test of loyalty by me.

It is truly the Phoenix and has risen from the ashes once again.

Mike phoned a bit later (thank you again, Julie!) to tell me that if I wanted my phone back, to call my number because some awesome woman had seen it hit the ground, ran out to the street, picked it up and had it safely in her possession.

This is the same phone that last year I dropped into the cat's water and the year before that I dropped into the washing machine (before I added the soap).

Is that loyalty AND love or what? That phone loves me! And its grateful, I am sure that I still love and want it and that I defend it to the hilt (and lets be real..how many people REALLY would still love a Blackberry anyway?)

I finally reached the girl who had my phone and we are connecting tomorrow for me to get it back. But the story of how she managed to find me is hilarious.

First she told me that she thought I must have been mad as hell and just threw the phone out of the car window. When she bent over to pick it up and saw that it was a Blackberry she said....."Hell, Id be mad too if I had to use a Blackberry".

I let that pass.

Then she told me that it took her awhile to figure out how to find the contact list so she could call someone. "I had NO idea how to operate this old thing".

I let that pass too.

Then she finally found my son, Scott's number, called him and told him that she has this phone...a BLACKBERRY! and did he know who it belonged to?

(Scott said she kinda snorted when she said the word Blackberry).

I let that pass as well.

He, of course, knew because how many people would he know who had a Blackberry? Only one. His Mom. His old, technology challenged Mom.

He called his Dad (if you're getting confused that would also be my husband) and told him what had happened and Mike called me on Julie's phone (remember her?) and told me to call my phone, which I did.

In a world where people barely smile at each other and everyone seems to be in a hurry and always angry at someone or something, there is this person, a complete stranger, who went way out of her way, way out of her comfort zone and took the time and trouble to find me and help me get my good, old, reliable Blackberry back.

I am grateful.

My husband says to just forget it and go buy a new phone tomorrow, but I think I have to keep it now.

Its like a cat. And it still has at least 6 lives to go

Archie and Edith.....the original dingbat strikes again!

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