I would come to regret these words. The novelty of a cell phone wears off in two phases. The first phase is the unpleasant realization that not only can you connect with the world whenever you want (Need to ask Gramma about a cut of meat at the grocery, no prob. Wondering if your husband would keep the kid out of the house longer, excellent. Asking yourself, where the heck is my husband, he’s four hours late, very useful indeed.) But- the world at large can also connect with you. When you start fielding really unimportant questions about centerpieces at church dinners, and telling total strangers that you would prefer not to donate to the hairless dog society of America, the fun is gone. People can suddenly bug you at their whim and fancy, and on your dime! I’m way too miserly to handle that, and, seriously, isn’t half the point of leaving the house so you don’t have to answer the phone?
The second way in which the charm of the cell phone rapidly disappears is the exorbitant charges in addition to the basic bill. Back when we had Sprint I would routinely check my minutes balance before making a call at the end of the month. The recording would tell me that I had 400 minutes remaining, so I would make a 100 minute phone call and assume all was well until my statement arrived with a $200 charge for being over by 300 minutes. How can this be, I would angrily inquire, only to have them tell me, “Oh. Yeah. The thing that tells you the minutes, well, that’s not always up to date. . .” Which really doesn’t make any sense. I have a vague idea of where I might be on the minutes. I don’t need a machine to give me it’s inaccurate opinion on where my balance may have stood 3.58 days ago. I’ve already got an inaccurate opinion on that matter.
So, we canceled the cell phone. It was becoming much more of a headache than a help. And, after we did the math we discovered that the basic cell phone costs were about the same amount that would take to diaper and clothe Maggie, who was due the next month.
Two years later, Chris is about to leave on a long deployment and he really wants to be able to get a hold of his family (noticing a trend, here?). So I do the math and discover that, yes, with a little self control, we could reasonably afford to both clothe our daughter and have cell phones without going into hock. Now, Chris has been badgering me about this for months, and I have been reluctant and wheedled and needled my way out of every conversation because the thought of another bill quite literally makes the hair on the back on my neck stand up, but I love my husband, so I’ve said yes.
People, I have never seen a man run for the phone faster than I did today when he got on the line with our provider to start checking rates. In a matter of minutes we had a good deal, two free razr phones and six dollars off our regular phone bill (yeah, go us.), and an excited husband who I’m sure is somewhere right now thinking, “It took approximately eight months to win her over. . .if I start now, I could have a puppy by Christmas 2007!”]]>