I'm not a big fan of talking on the phone, so I've never felt a need to own a cell phone. On the scattered occasions when I had a reason to have one, I used Sally's.
But on a few occasions recently a phone of my own would have been very convenient so I decided to step spontaneously into the 1990s and get one.
But which one? My wife spent portions of several days doing research on the Internet and sending me pages and pages of various plans. I tried to read them, but I quickly discovered that I was in over my head. After all, it involved two of the things that I find most disagreeable in life — shopping and math. I finally told my wife that I'd just go with whichever one she thought was best.
So last night we went to Target. They had a wealth of choices: payment plans and pay-as-you-go options; camera phones and non-camera phones; blue ones and red ones and white ones and black ones; fold-up phones and the other ones where the buttons are exposed. I stood there in a stupor while Sally looked at the plans and prices. The only comments I made were:
- I think I want a fold-up phone. I'll be carrying it loose in my pocket and the fold-up ones seem less vulnerable.
- I don't need one with games.
We finally narrowed our choices down to one, and I said that one would be fine with me. To which Sally replied, "It looks kinda feminine. Let's go to Wal-Mart."
Always up for more shopping, I happily went along. Wal-Mart had a much smaller selection, but they did have one phone that was out of stock at Target and that fit both my requirements and all of hers.
Then we had to pick a pay-as-you-go package. The cheapest one that we saw was for 100 units. Sally explained to me that "units" means "minutes." I spent the next few units trying to figure out why they couldn't simply call "minutes" "minutes." I was unable to come up with a satisfactory solution.
Sally asked me if I thought 100 minutes would be enough. I did some quick calculation and determined that it is very unlikely that I've spoken on a cell phone for 100 minutes in my entire life, so, yes, 100 minutes would be sufficient.
Then we had to flag down a salesperson to unlock the bar so we could remove the phone we had chosen. We paid for it without incident and headed home.
My 13-year-old daughter, who desperately wants a cell phone of her own, met us at the door with a burst of vicarious excitement. It's not her phone, but now she'll have one more person she's allowed to call.
My 20-year-old daughter reacted to the news that Dad had his own cell phone with stunned silence.
As for me, I'm adjusting nicely. It hasn't been nearly as obtrusive as I'd imagined.
Someday, I might even get around to activating it.