Shaun and the kids gave me an iPhone for Valentines day. Prior to the iPhone, I had an Android. I loved my Android. I set it to give me directions in an English accent. When lost, having an authoritative voice give me directions in an English accent gave me confidence. I would become unlost, soon. Someone British said so.
The Android broke up with me. Shaun or the kids could use it, and it behaved beautifully. When I used it, ten minutes after unplugged from the charger, it died.
I gave you seven minutes to talk. You should have made your calls then. I need a smarter owner. I’m a smart phone. Please find me a smart person. Us? No magic.
No matter how many times I turned off the Wi-Fi, the Bluetooth, the GPS, the refresh, they would mysteriously come back on, within an hour.
Lee Lee used it for an afternoon. No problem.
The Android began to gaslight me. It subverted the app I downloaded: Advanced Task Killer. Task Killer. I liked killing things on my phone. I killed them all.
An hour later, emails arrived. Hey! I turned those off! Checked settings. It says email is turned off. It’s not supposed to pick up email or contact the internet in any way. Subversion. Stealth. Quitting on me when I needed it the most. My phone was passive-agressive. And completely out to get me.
It stopped ringing when family members called. I didn’t even get a missed call notice. This aggravated everyone. Thus the Valentine’s day iPhone.
The Android loved Micah, and worked just fine for him. I wiped the phone, set it back to factory settings, hooked them up. Come to think of it, the British voice was female…
Yesterday, I got a phone call.
“Uh. Mom?”, said Micah.
“Hi baby!” I say, forgetting (again) you do not say this to an almost 16-year-old. “What’s up?”
“You know how you reset the phone?”, he says, “Like so nothing is on it?”
“Uh-huh”, I say, wondering where this is going. Is the phone acting up for him too?
“I was wondering if you backed up the pictures and stuff”, he says, “so I could delete them.”
There are pictures on the phone? I mentally file through the pictures I know were on the phone.
I smack my forehead. They should have been deleted automatically.
My phone didn’t just break up with me, it wanted revenge. There’s a couple of pics of Hudson, a few of the kids, Shaun, a few of the dog.
When Shaun was in the hospital, we discovered the healing power of cell phone photos on injuries. Mirrors don’t show the pain. When Shaun was suffering, it was so satisfying that she could SEE why it hurt that much. Photo proof. It’s reassuring when something looks as bad as it hurts. I took pictures daily in the hospital, so she could see how she was doing. Totally helped her get well.
Then I got kicked. And Shaun took daily pictures so I could see how I was doing. Totally helped me get well.
Then Daisy got kicked. I ran over to her house with a polo wrap (she had ice) and took pictures of her bruising and swollen knee. Totally helped her get well.
My vindictive cell phone deleted all the pictures except the billion pictures of various naked (but G-rated) body parts of unidentifiable women over 40, in multiple stages of trauma.
Massive expanses of 40-60 year old, cellulosic skin in puce, yellow, purple, black, green, pink, red and blue.
Micah didn’t know about the pictures. Not a secret, just not important. And I KNOW I deleted those photos off my phone before I reset to factory settings. I deleted them off the phone after Daisy got kicked, months ago. No need to keep pictures of bruises.
I imagine how this will change what he thinks of me.
My mom has a billion photographs of injured flesh on her cell phone? And no pictures of her family? What was that guys name? Ted Bundy? Do I really know her? Is it safe to go to sleep? This is really creepy. Like really creepy. What if she likes this stuff? What if she’s like…a serial killer?
I never sound like I’m telling the truth when I am telling the truth.
“Oh jeeze”, I say,”Were Mama’s bruises on there?” I pause. “And then I got kicked…”
“So….? I can delete them?” Micah says, the lalalalala clearly audible in his head.
“Please”, I say, “Totally trash”. I hold my breath. Please do not let my kid think I’m a psycho pervert, and quite possibly a serial killer.
“So…you don’t want to keep them or anything?”, he says, “like to look at later?”
“Ew. No. Gross.” I say. “They re-downloaded somehow. You know how something feels better if it looks as bad as it hurts? I took the pictures to prove to Mama it really was that bad.”
“Uh. Sure”, Micah says,”Um hey, someone’s calling me, can I call you later?”
I hate that phone.
Smithereens. Great word.
Sounds exactly like a cell phone smashing on cement.