My cell phone died. It quit behaving like a reliable electronic device, went into cardiac arrest several times during the week, and was eventually pronounced a piece of dead and useless junk by Mr. Dave, our resident expert on all things electronic.
“It won’t charge beyond 1%,” I complained to Mr. Dave when I placed my ailing phone into his hands so that he could make it work again.
Mr. Dave immediately went into what I call his guy-in-fix-it mode. He began fiddling with buttons and thoroughly examining the cell phone to determine what caused it to quit working. I am used to dealing with Mr. Dave while he is in the fix it mode. I have years of experience dealing with it.
There are two rules that govern proper guy-in-fix-it mode conduct. Rule one, do not speak a word while the guy mind is focusing on stuff. Rule two, stay within three feet of the guy because questions will need to be asked and answered by whomever placed the object requiring fixing into the hands of the guy.
So, I handed the phone to Mr. Dave and sat down to wait to answer any potential questions. This is obviously a very boring activity for me. I was never very good at being quiet as a mouse when I was a child. As an adult, I can last several minutes when I am on my game. Usually, I do a couple of silent chores while I wait. I plan the weekly menu or mentally add items to the grocery list in my head or wonder what the cat is doing?
I was just in the process of wondering if our cookie jar contained anything but useless crumbs when Mr. Dave began questioning me about the events leading up to the demise of my phone.
“Did you plug it in the charger correctly,” he asked as he fiddled with the button on the side of the phone that I was once told by him was never, ever to be fiddled with.
“Of course, I plugged it into the charger thingy,” I answered.
“Did you do it correctly?”
“Yes,” I replied in a defensive tone.
I really wasn’t sure if I had plugged it in correctly, but I had plugged it in several times. I was almost sure I had done it properly at least one or two of those times.
“Where is your charger?” asked Mr. Dave.
“Right next to you where I put it ten minutes ago,” I answered using my irked wife voice.
I suspected that Mr. Dave was doubting my ability to properly plug the charger cord into the phone. It was obvious he was recalling those very few times when I might have mistakenly plugged it in incorrectly. I immediately entered hostile wife mode. It was not my fault the stupid piece of plastic crap wouldn’t charge!
Mr. Dave blithely ignored any irritated glares I might have sent his way. He was in the final stages of cell phone autopsy. He plugged the phone into the charger, fiddled with buttons, got the screen to almost light up, shook the phone, fiddled some more, then frowned thoughtfully.
“It’s dead, isn’t it.” I said.
“Yep,” you killed it.
“I did not kill it.” I believe I snarled those words. “It just quit working.”
“You are a phone killer,” smirked Mr. Dave.
“I plugged it in correctly. Not my fault.” I insisted.
“No, it isn’t your fault,” agreed Mr. Dave. “It is an old phone and was bound to quit working one day. We need to get you a new phone.”
The medical examiner had spoken. The autopsy was completed. Cell phone pronounced absolutely dead. Burial in trash can imminent. Those thoughts raced through my mind creating chaos and panic. I was not ready to deal with learning new technology!
“I don’t want a new phone,” I griped. “I just need this one to work correctly.”
“It’s broken,” said Mr. Dave with a sigh.
Mr. Dave is familiar with what he considers my extreme stubbornness about giving up on beloved stuff that no longer works. As a guy, Mr. Dave’s method of dealing with anything broken is to either fix it or toss it out and get a replacement. Problem solved, move on. I am different. I get attached. My stuff is precious to me. That phone has been a useful tool. Dependable. Reliable. Easy to use. A friend.
“No, no, no it isn’t permanently broken,” I argued. “It just doesn’t work. It needs help. It needs to go to the phone shop at the mall and have the kid at the counter, who looks like he’s sixteen at best, fix it. Replace the battery, get it resuscitated! I cannot deal with welcoming a new cell phone into my existence! I won’t do it! I want my old phone that I know how to use fixed!”
My phone accompanied Mr. Dave to the mall to be examined by experts and repaired. Mr. Dave returned home bearing good news and not so good news.
“I upgraded my phone!” announced Mr. Dave using his happy guy voice.
That was the good news.
Next, came the bad news.
“I switched your old phone number to my old phone,” he said using his aren’t you glad you married a problem solver voice. “You will love my old Apple. It does everything.”
He handed his old phone to me, minus the carrying case. His new phone fit his old carrying case. I was now the owner of a naked plastic thing that looked anorexic compared to my chubby, reliable old phone.
“This phone was made by Satan’s minions, I grumbled, using my ungrateful wife voice. “It has too many buttons, its highly complicated, and slippery. I require simple.”
“I got a good deal. New phone didn’t cost a dime, just upgraded our plan,” Mr. Dave proudly replied.
“Damn,” I muttered.
Mr. Dave had played the no out-of-pocket-cost card. A crafty move. An excellent excuse to force me into accepting the Apple as my new cell phone or appearing ungrateful for his husbandly thoughtfulness towards not decimating our tight budget.
So, peoples, I now possess what I am christening Super Phone. It is an ultra-complicated social media management device and is, as well, a phone. I can do amazing stuff with this phone. I can look up the time and weather in any city of the world. I can play cool games. I can take photos of the cat. I can net surf and read email. I can message Mr. Dave any time of the night or day. I can do a zillion other time consuming things if I can recall correctly how to unlock the device and get to the icons.
Mr. Dave spent much time patiently showing me all the bells and whistles of Super Phone. He was extremely forgiving during those frustrated moments on my end, and there were many, when I couldn’t do something on Super Phone that I had always been able to do easily on my old phone.
As I end this little rant of mine, it occurs to me that the only thing Mr. Dave forgot to show me how to do was access the phone part. I was so busy playing games and checking out Facebook and writing this blog that I forgot to remind him to show me how to make a phone call on this thing.
No biggie. I will eventually figure it out.