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My cellphone dilemma
by Joy Ballack
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In this day of modern technology children seem to know so much more than their parents. This is certainly the case with me when it comes to cell-phones and computers. Whenever I have a difficulty, my four children (aged 7-19) are always ready and eager to help.
When my last son was just six years old, we both attended a wedding rehearsal since he was asked to be the ring-bearer. The intended bride and groom came to take us to the long-distance location. I took along my new cell-phone which my husband insisted would help me become up-to-date with the growing technology. He made sure I knew how to make and receive calls. Well, that was all I needed to know for now – so I thought.
Before getting my cell-phone, I would burrow my teenage daughter’s own anytime I went shopping – but each time I had to learn all over again how to use it. When I put it into my single-compartment shopping bag, it would get lost among so many other small items which included a change-purse, makeup bag, pens and pencils, a notepad, a wallet and a hair-brush.
Many times I didn’t hear it when it rang either because the music downtown was too loud or the ring-tone was too soft; or even maybe on silent which for some reason was my daughter’s favorite ring-tone. If I heard it I had to scramble through my bag, while it just kept on ringing and gaining the attention of everyone around me. By the time I found it, after several stares and much embarrassment, it would stop ringing and I would see ‘missed call’ on the screen, to the humor of my onlookers. When other peoples' phones rang, I found myself lifting my bag to hear if it was mine. This confusion would drive me so crazy that I decided to just hold it in my hand when I expected a call from my husband or from home. Even then when it rang, I might press the ignore button instead of the answer button.
This was my cell-phone status when I left to go to the wedding rehearsal, except for the fact that I could at least make and receive calls. After chatting awhile with the bride and groom to be, they picked up two other children and when all became quiet, my son asked me to burrow my phone to play a game. Since he was more skilled than I was, I just told him to be careful and handed it over.
After about half-an-hour it occurred to me that my husband might be trying to contact me so I leaned over and whispered, “Jonathan, as soon as you finish that game, turn it off and give the phone to me.” – and Jonathan did “exactly” as he was told.
We soon arrived at the proposed destination and were introduced to many family and friends of the bride and groom. Rehearsals came and went and still I received no calls. I tried to put it out of my mind with all the activity and conversation going on around me. I so didn’t want to shame myself in front of these people by trying to make a call and fouling up. Then it was time to go home.
The necessary arrangements were made and as we drove homeward I wondered, “Why didn’t they call? Maybe they are watching a movie or something and not even worrying about us” – but it was after 9 p.m.! Yet I still felt uncomfortable to call. The car was too quiet.
I was relieved when we finally arrived home. My bigger son came out to greet us and asked, “What happened to your phone?”
“Huh? Nothing’s the matter with my phone!” We went upstairs and everyone, though happy to see us, was anxious to know the same question. “But how come you didn’t call?” I asked.
Then my husband responded. “We called and called but you never answered.” Well! This had me confused! I gave him the phone and after checking it he blurted out “Why is your phone turned off?”
“What? Turned off? I did not even know that the phone could turn off! At this they all burst out laughing. Then I recounted lending Jonathan my phone, and he remembered turning it off after playing his game – and I was left feeling like I was back in school and my children were the teachers.

743 words.


© Joy Ballack 2010

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