Saturday, February 20, 2010

Before Cell Phones--How Did We Ever Do It?

A not so amusing return to life before cell phones (B.C.?) occurred in our family the other evening.

It reminded me how dependent we are on these little boxes that I could only dream of having when I was reading Dick Tracy comics as a kid. My how science fiction has become reality. And are we ever hooked!

I was at home, beginning work on the taxes (yes, it is tax season) when the home phone rings--it is Chris with an immediate invite to dinner at a restaurant in the mall with her, Nicole and the boys. So I quickly clean up the tax mess and charge out the door--forgetting the cell phone. Without knowing it, I hd traveled through a time warp into the days B.C.

And boy, did I pay for that.

I got stuck in rush hour traffic and wanted to call Chris to tell her--that is when I realized I was without the critical piece of technology which keeps us all in touch. I worried, but continued on my journey. After all--how difficult could this be--we were meeting at a known place.


I arrived at the mall and jockeyed for a parking place. Speeding into the the restaurant, I told the greeters that I was meeting someone and sped past--knowing that I was late.

Guess what I found upon searching the whole place? Chris, Nicole and the boys were NOT there! What happened I wondered. If only I had my cell to call them. But no, I was stuck in time B.C.

I waited a bit and wandered to the last known location where they had been--when Chris had called. Not there!

I wandered around a bit looking for them and began wondering if something had happened and plans had changed or if the boys were too tired to go out or something. All good questions--but with no way to obtain an answer.

Ugh! So I got a bit upset--at myself, at Chris, at the situation, at life, at traffic, at mall parking, at my truck (because I still can't drive my new cat because of the weather).

I decided the only good play was to return home to find the answers. In this case--home is about a 10 minute drive. In traffic--15 minutes.

So off I sped.

My blood pressure was rising to stroke levels because of the situation. I was B.C. in a big way.

As I returned home and walked through the door--the phone was ringing. It was Chris--she said--"where are you? We are at the restaurant." I know I unleashed a string of fairly vile words at that point because the phone went silent--I think I was burning out a transistor or a capacitor or something.

Because we've been married almost 35 years--Chris waited for the fire storm of emotion and frustration to subside a bit and calmly reinvited me to dinner with the words--"so what do you want to do?"

I was hungry by now. I decided to return to the mall for dinner--with my cell. I didn't want to be in the time of B.C. anymore.

I hopped back into my truck and realized that since they were at the restaurant, they would be waiting to order--and with two smallish children--that was problematic. So I grabbed my cell and called my order in to Chris. My beer was waiting for me when I got there and dinner was served with everyone else's.

I had a great dinner sitting next to my best bud-Jax. Much more relaxed now that I was back in the present day with my cell in my pocket--and fully connected to the world and my life.

I never want to be in the time B.C. again! I don't know how we ever did it.

And back then we only had one car, too! But that is a story for a different day.

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