Covid19 has caused tons of trouble, and a few weeks ago it made me lose my phone. Who knew a virus could be this nefarious? But I’m getting ahead of myself.
To be honest, I lose my phone an average of three times a week. Fortunately, I lose it in my house, so I know the search parameters. Even so, I can waste a good twenty minutes retracing my steps, and often find it in weird and obscure places. On top of the bookcase in the downstairs bedroom? I have no memory of being in this room. And why would I stick my phone up there anyway? Often my missing phone is discovered under a pile of magazines and books that seem to litter the family room. Or stuck between the couch cushions.
When my husband is at home, it’s simple. I use his phone to call my phone, holding it like a Geiger Counter as I search the house. When he’s out of the house, I’m sunk. Before we got rid of the landline, I’d use it to call myself. No more. I’ve considered reinstating the land line just to give myself more options, even though you can also lose a cordless phone. The original, corded phones were the best. You always knew where your phone was, right there on the wall, and it had a leash to keep you from wandering too far. Some days I just want to go back.
Why don’t I simply keep my phone in my pocket? There are three problems with this: 1) some of my clothes don’t have pockets; 2) ladies’ pockets are pretty small; 3) On the occasions I do use a back pocket, I fear my phone will take a dive into an unpleasant receptacle in the powder room.
The lost phone saga kicked up a notch when I was out shopping a few weeks ago. I got into my car to drive home, and realized my phone was missing. Full on panic engulfed me. I instinctively decided to call my husband for help and advice, then realized I couldn’t call him because I’d lost my phone.
After dashing into the two stores I’d just left, retracing my steps, asking if a lost phone had been turned in, and coming up empty, I drove to my husband’s office. He immediately began calling my phone, over and over. He kept calling it while we dashed home to inhale our lunch, literally. It took five minutes. We then drove to store #1 and perused the parking lot.
Where did you park, my husband wanted to know. You mean the exact spot, I asked, incredulous. Yes, that was what he meant, but I could only give the general area, as in here, in this parking lot. I waved my arms expansively to emphasize my point. He prowled around, dialing. No phone rang from the pavement. We went into the store, and I headed in the direction where I’d last been. As I got deeper into the store, I heard a phone, my phone, like a child calling for its mother. I followed the cry and found it exactly where I’d left it, a dark phone propped up on a shelf of folded dark sweaters, nearly invisible.
Here’s where I get to blame Covid19. In this store the dressing rooms are closed. Because apparently the virus will infect me if I use the dressing room, but not while I’m walking around the store touching the merchandise, picking things up and putting them back. In addition, the mirrors that used to be attached to the pillars in various places around the store have been removed. Even if you only want to try on outerwear, as I was doing, there’s no way to see how it looks on you. So I had very cleverly opened the camera app on my phone, turned it to selfie mode, propped it up on the sweater display and used it as a tiny mirror while I tried on jackets (which didn’t work very well; life-size me didn’t get any helpful information from tiny me) and then went merrily on my way.
The relief at recovering my phone was immense, followed by a sad realization of how dependent I am on it. My life stopped when I couldn’t find it, and bleakness ensued when I pondered the idea of starting a relationship with a new phone. But what do I expect when I carry with me a tiny machine that is phone, camera, calculator, calendar, metronome, dictionary, stopwatch, alarm and timer? Not to mention portal to email and the internet. What have I done to myself?
This is a deep philosophical question that deserves serious consideration. But there’s no time for that now, because once again I have misplaced my phone. I know it’s here somewhere…