Text messaging was always a mystery until Jordan changed the choices on my phone. I could never find it. I saw there were messages but I didn’t know how to get to them. Jordan would say, “mom did you get my message?” And I would admit that I had seen there was something waiting for me but I couldn’t negotiate my way through all the options to retrieve it. She would then guffaw, or something close to what a 20 year old does to indicate impatience, and I would simply feel at a loss. First, because I didn’t know what she wanted to say, and second because I was clearly a technical disaster.
Then, when I got my new phone—the old one had fallen in the toilet and I thought, if I got it out in a timely manner and immediately used the hairdryer, it would be fine. It was, for a while, and then it died. Even though I did a pretty good job of pretending I couldn’t imagine why it was on the fritz, the Verizon IT guy said the insurance didn’t cover it. Well, Jordan needed a new phone so we went to the Verizon store, perused all the possibilities and spent enough on hers that mine was free. It was an amazing experience. The range of phones and the possibilities of performance are breathtaking. There are phones that play music and movies, and cards. You don’t just talk anymore, you bond with this tiny machine.
It took her about an hour to decide on the perfect instrument. She made friends with all the sales personnel, asked good questions and found it impossible to make a decision. Finally, she picked something that slid into a rich chocolatesque case, was incredibly sleek and very today. I just wanted something sturdy that could withstand the constant beating and possibly another swim.
As a final step, we had the IT people transfer all our information from our old to the new. Phones. But unfortunately, they couldn’t transfer the ring tones for which I had paid many dollars, and with which I’d become so attached. There is no shortage of profit centers in today’s world of communication. OK no more “Law and Order” theme when the kids called. No more “Lady Marmalde” for Marthena. “La Cucharacha” as my main tone bit the dust, and I lost the calypso ditty that I so identified with David. “But”, I was assured by Jordan’s new friends, “ I could always repurchase them.” Actually, I couldn’t. There are a million tones available but just try to get to them. It is almost impossible. Am I whining? Probably, but not without deserving to do so.
Once I had resigned myself to my new lack of musical entertainment, I read the instruction book. The new phone was similar to the old but there were a few changes, like the options key. There was an entire page that reflected my message status. And there was a special way for sending and retrieving text messages and voice mails. It was like a miracle. I actually understood how to do it. So I sent my first text to Jordan. “Hi”, it said. And she replied. “Hi Mom”. And I hit reply (there’s an obvious reply option) and I sent a word or two back to her. “Hi again honey.” Ok so I didn’t have much to say but if I had, I would have known how to do it. It was a wonderful new skill.
I text message all the time. And I teach my friends, who are as clueless as I was, how to do it. But when my new colleague Steve suggested I get the text message option on my phone, I didn’t tell him I already had it. You see, I don’t want to be in constant touch for business purposes. I need time to think and reflect about professional things. It’s too easy to be connected 24/7 and it’s not the way I want to live my life. I am crazy about the ability to text message but I only want to use it for Jordan to tell me she loves me, for David to tell me he misses me, and for me to reply “ditto” to both of them. We’re just sayin... You have one new message, from Iris