always taken great pride in the tender care I give to my cell phone.
Until recently, I could boast that with all of the various cellular
devices I've possessed through the years (dating back to the first
Motorola bag phone my dad gave me during the Early Iron Age), I'd
never once had so much as a bent antenna.
While my three teen daughters seem to enjoy competing to see how high
they can bounce their iPhones off of parking lot pavement, my trusty
phone case keeps my device safe and secure on the rare occasions when
I drop it while fumbling with my wallet to pay for their multiple
repairs. Ironically, my sturdy and practical phone case is an object
of derision from my daughters, who insist on enveloping their phones
in flimsy, fashionable covers whose main protective feature is an
over-abundance of glitter.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I spent my Friday evening trying to decide
whether to place my middle daughter on emergency life support due
to acute Snapchat-deficient syndrome, or race around town trying to
find a cell phone repair shop that was still open and could (for the
second time) replace her entire screen, which had become dislodged
in an incident involving the school cafeteria's tile floor and a corn
While my credit card was still in shock over this costly repair, I
suddenly found myself the victim of cruel irony.
Shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday, I spent a solid weekend assembling
a Christmas lighting display to rival that of Clark W. Griswold. My
neighbors could only gaze on with incredulous envy as I festooned
my roofline and front lawn with multiple strings of C9 bulbs (some
of them actually working).
Unfortunately, my triumph was short-lived. When I reached for my phone
to commemorate this achievement with a photo, I realized that it had
become wedged in my pocket against a pair of rarely-used needle-nose
pliers, and the unresponsive screen was now streaked with random bars
of light. Even my fail-safe troubleshooting technique of turning off
the phone and turning it back on again was ineffective.
Suddenly, I panicked! How could I check Facebook every five minutes,
or play that game with the little jetpack man? What if one of my daughters
tried to text me requesting more cash? As I began to hyperventilate,
I remembered the phone repair shop. I could simply take it there the
next day and return to happily allowing this wireless device to control
my very existence.
After a fitful night's sleep, I arrived at the shop early the next
morning, only to sit in the car a full fifteen minutes past the posted
opening time. Apparently, the teenager in charge of the place was
still in a drive-thru somewhere waiting for his breakfast burrito.
Unable to tolerate further delay, I drove across the road to another
repair shop/tobacco emporium where the technician invited me to peruse
his selection of hookah pipes and flavored rolling papers while he
dissected my iPhone. After twenty minutes of waiting (and learning
all I ever wanted to know about herb grinders) I was informed that
the screen I needed was out of stock.
In full freak-out mode, I drove back to the first shop I had visited
and found it open-finally! The young technician, having just finished
his burrito-no doubt-was able to replace my screen, subtly scoff at
my bulky phone case, and send me on my way in about ten minutes.
I'm still a bit embarrassed about the relief I felt having my iPhone
working again. As I often tell my eye-rolling daughters, I managed
to survive for over twenty years without the luxury of a cell phone-and
now I depend on it like a vital appendage. I guess I'm not that different
from my girls, after all.
In fact, I think I'll ask Santa for one of those glittery phone cases