Tracy K. Lorenz ...


The Phone

I have a love/hate relationship with my phone, heavy on the hate. What was once a source of amusement and convenience has turned into a full time job.

Two weeks ago my phone died taking all my contact information, texts, and pictures with it. Of course the phone they sent me to replace it is COMPLETELY different than my previous phone in every aspect and has been moments away from being frisbee’d across the room on more than one occasion. Phones were supposed to make our lives easier but somehow mine is fifty times harder. I spend all day answering nuisance calls with phone numbers designed to fake me out, I have to turn into Perry Mason every time my cheerful yet hated ringtone goes off; “Hmmm, the first three numbers are correct but I don’t think the next three are from this exchange, plus the last four numbers are all ones so I’m not answering it.”

If you do call my phone and I don’t answer you’ll get this message: “Hello, this is Tracy, please send me a text because I don’t check my voice mailbox.” And why don’t I listen to my messages? Because everyday by noon the mailbox is full with messages about my Google account not being up to date or somebody wanting me to sponsor the Oakridge girls basketball team or the warranty on a car I never owned running out. I would seriously need to hire a full time phone answerer just to weed out the potentially pertinent calls.

But how did I get to this stage of aggravation? Here’s a brief timeline:

The Rotary Phone:  Growing up, I lived in a house with two parents and three brothers; we had one phone and it was centrally located in the dining room. Every call was public domain, my friends and I had code words and phrases like we were mafioso being wiretapped; if I said the number “six” at any point that meant there was someone nearby so I couldn’t respond to your particular question at this time, just meet me at Lincoln Park in ten minutes and we can talk things over face to face.

The Car Phone: My first car phone was actually attached to the car and had a regular handset on a cord. The phone never left the car because it was bolted to the hump between the seats. I think the phone cost a thousand dollars and calls were $3,000 a minute.

The Bag Phone:  The bag phone had a battery the size of a toaster and an antenna that looked like you were radioing in air support in Nam. Ya know those old ladies in casinos who haul around oxygen to keep them alive until one minute after they hit the jackpot? The life support systems those women haul around are less cumbersome than my bag phone.

NEXTEL: If I ever find the guy who invented that chirping nightmare his death will be slow and meaningful. The NEXTEL phone was actually more of a walkie-talkie so, by company rule, we had to say “over” after every sentence like we were trying to communicate with a submarine.

The Flip Phone: Keys so small you needed a sewing needle to press them, if the receiver was by your ear that meant the microphone was by your eye.

And finally that hell-hole known as the iPhone, “phone” being the least used option on it. I swear to God my new phone has so many preloaded apps on it my “phone” is on page three, I literally have to swipe twice to the right and once down to get to it. Apparently the “i” stands for “idiot.” I've tried touching the phone icon and dragging it to the first page but every time I turn my phone off the icon jumps back to page three and I can't figure out how to make it stay put. All these years people thought I was smart, turns out I was just a ... phoney.

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