I took my car in for an oil change today. While I was there, the mechanic mentioned that I was closing in on 30,000 miles, and that meant a major checkup to the tune of approximately $500 that I had to look forward to. My first thought was - how on earth did I manage to put nearly 30,000 miles on this car that I've only had a year? Of course, driving nearly 100 miles round trip to work every day helps....but that's not the point of this particular monologue, so I'll just leave it that at sometime in the near future I'm sure there will be a whimpering post about spending lots of money on filters and air hoses and such.
My plan was to drop the off the car and have my mom pick me up at the dealer, since we were to go spend the afternoon together anyway. My mother suffers from distinct lack of direction sense, but even with this I didn't think it would be an issue - the dealerships are plainly visible from the freeway and I knew she had been out in that direction many times before. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And as the time passed I became more and more annoyed, and then started feeling guilty for being annoyed because what if she was stalled on the side of the road or there had been an accident and here I was, pacing back and forth impatiently at a car dealership where at least I had somewhere air conditioned to wait.
I finally broke down and asked to use their phone to call my parents' house. My mom wasn't there, but my dad was, and he hadn't heard from her. Twenty minutes later, I decided to call again and this is when I finally remembered what I had in my purse.
Yes. The evil thing finally arrived. I ordered it back in May from the my company's web site, and then dutifully called once a month to see just when it was that the cellular phone would grace my presence...and about two weeks ago, it came. In their infinite wisdom, my company had it sent to my house. Bear in mind that my job description clearly states 100% travel, and with that caveat, that would make it highly unlikely I actually would be able to be home to pick up a package, but regardless, they had it sent there instead of to the nearest company office. And the package required a signature to retrieve. So not only did I *have* to have this horrid little device, now I had to go out of my way to go *get* the darn thing. This involved leaving work early to meander around Sacramento and find the Fed Ex distribution center. I got the box, opened it up in the car, and made my very first call on it to Richard while sitting there in the parking lot. Then I dumped the phone into my purse, carried all the associated gizmos and instructions inside my house when I got home, and hadn't really had any time to play with it since.
The first warning I should have had was when I opened the box. This thing is cute. And I mean cute. It's tiny and black and folds up to less than palm size and it's CUTE!! It's not supposed to be cute. It's an evil device and I hate the things and how can I truly hate it if it's cute?
The second warning was that suddenly there were reasons why it was that I should use it. I was more than a bit alarmed to find myself one day driving home from work and even contemplating making a call from the freeway. When I realized what I was thinking I was truly shocked. What happened to me? Luckily I stifled the impulse, but still. Just the mere presence of one of these things in my purse and I was becoming one of them.
I hadn't given the number out to anyone because I hadn't even had the time to figure out how to do simple things like make it ring, or set up the voicemail. I figured I'd get to it one of these days when it was important, but it wasn't really crucial, and perhaps if no one had the number it could just languish in my purse and I could pretend it didn't exist.
Then today I remembered that it was there. I didn't have to borrow the phone from the dealer to call my dad. I could call direct. And it occurred to me that if my mom had one of these, I could call her direct and see what the problem was. Or if I'd thought to give her the cell number, she could have called me to let me know what had happened - which, as it turns out, would have been a significant time saver, as for whatever reason unbeknownst to either my dad or I, she ended up going to the Toyota dealer and waiting there for me for an hour, even though not only did I tell her I was going to the Nissan dealer, she left a message for my dad saying the exact thing.
So....we finally found each other, and after much relieved laughter that neither of us was lying beside the road in a bloody heap (okay, so I have inherited a bit of my mom's tendency to worry) we were on our way.
But not before I made sure that I had figured out how to make the phone ring, and given both my mom and my dad the number.
Okay, so I still hate the things. And I think I've successfully squelched the impulse to need to use it to call for small things. But I'm grudgingly starting to admit that perhaps they really could be useful, and maybe it isn't goiing to be quite so bad having one after all. Mind you, I still would have preferred to keep my pager. But I don't have it, and if I'm stuck with something, well, the phone is alright for now.
Besides. How can I resist it? It's cute.