My Phone Died...AND I LIVED

Okay, so the title of this post is a wee bit melodramatic. But it works, ya know?

For those of you keeping score, yes. Yes, this is the second phone I've destroyed in just under two years. And my temper is to blame for both deaths. 

My Android didn't go out quite as harshly as the iPhone did, however, both met their premature ends because I was pissed at my kids. I guess in hindsight, better a broken phone than a broken kid, but for all of my talk about being mellow and a "go with the flow" kind of gal, two mangled phones doesn't exactly make me the poster child for Chill Moms.

But you know me. I'm always looking for that silver lining, for that lesson, and let's be honest, for a blog post, in pretty much everything that happens to me or my kids. And today's lesson isn't about anger, or temper tantrums, or the fact that despite my years of loyal watching, I am NOT Judge Judy and my damn phones are NOT gavels.

No. Today's lesson is about our smartphones and how they are making us stupid. And how I woke up from my techno-fugue when my phone died.

My foxy and brilliant friend Nina Badzin actually wrote a four-part series of blog posts about how she fared when she decided to put her phone down. I loved it, and not only because I was super impressed that she has the attention span required to do a four-part series of ANYTHING. I tried to do a two-parter about sex, and it took me like, four months.

I'm not one to pussyfoot around (yeah, I'm bringing pussyfoot back, people). I don't do much of anything half-assed. When I put my smartphone down, I did it with such aplomb that it just died. 

And I grieved. I actually wept a little. The five stages of grief? Yep. That happened. It went a little something like this:

Stage One, DENIAL: Ha! Okay kids, sorry about that outburst. Mommy just gets mad when you guys fight over phone chargers, that's all. What? What do you mean I just broke my phone? Nah. I'm sure it's okay. I didn't slam it down that hard. The screen is totally black? Huh. No, see? Look! It's lighting up a little bit. Here, let's take the battery out. For like ten minutes, and then it resets. I've heard that. Shit. Someone go get that bag of rice in the cupboard. This phone is totally NOT broken. 

Stage Two, ANGER: Mother effer! I broke my effing phone! See, why do you guys have to fight over your stupid phone chargers? Why do you have to make me so mad??? What do you mean, it's my fault? I wasn't the one tearing apart the house looking for a phone charger, was I? Dammit. SHIT. Why do I get so mad? And why do I always take it out on my freaking phones???

Stage Three, BARGAINING: Alright. You know what? I promise to not slam my phones down on hard surfaces, ever again, if this stupid screen would just light up. Because I really need my phone. What do you mean, the rice didn't work? You sure that only works for water damage? Okay. It's going to be okay. Maybe it just needs to rest. You guys, I'm sorry I get so mad. But you really need to keep better track of your phone chargers. Maybe we need to get a couple of extra ones. How's my phone look now? Any better? Crap.

Stage Four, DEPRESSION: Oh my God. It's gone. It's really, really gone. I can't believe I did that. What's wrong with me? Once is bad, but twice? That's a pattern. What am I going to do without my phone? I can't play Ruzzle. I can't check my emails. Sweet baby Jesus, how am I going to know when someone tweets me? *cradles phone in hands* I'm so sorry. 

Stage Five, ACCEPTANCE: Well. That's that. The guy at the AT&T store told me we don't have any upgrades, but I could buy a new Android for $500. So yeah. Bring me one of your old phones, you guys. Really? They're all slider phones? Why are your screens all cracked (this is where we learn a lesson about apples not falling far from trees)? Okay. This'll work for a while. What do you mean, I can't go online with this one? Seriously? Aughh. Okay. It's going to be just fine. I mean, as long as I have a phone, and I can text. What the hell? How do you text on this keyboard? Really? I really have to tap the key three times to get an exclamation point? Crap. Okay. Well, bottom line is, all I really need to survive is a phone. Right? Right. It's all good. Ooooh look at that sunset. I gotta take a picture on Instagram. Shoot. I forgot. Oh well. Let's just look at it, like we did back in the old timey days. It sure is pretty.

You know what? That sunset really was beautiful. 

Now, just so you know, I'm not totally ready to go all Pioneer Lady. I did find an exact duplicate of my Android on Craigslist, and I'm supposedly going to meet this "Meg" (please oh please Meg, don't be a serial killer) on Friday to buy it from her. And the kind folks at AT&T said they can hook a sister up with all of my old apps, and most importantly, my contact list. 

But I'm on day four without a smartphone, and it's honestly been okay. I think my friends have figured out that I can't stand texting on this thing, because I am one who insists on using whole words and punctuation, even on texts, and it takes me approximately a half hour to send a message that says "Not much! What are you guys up to?". I've learned to just say Bye Bye to my fear of actually calling someone when I need to get in touch with them. I've also learned that emails really can wait. And that Twitter exists even on laptops. 

I've learned that sharing stuff is nice and all, but so is just experiencing that same stuff, without tagging anyone, without Instagramming it, without #hashtagging it. I've learned you can accomplish just as much with a phone call as you can with a text, and bonus! You get to hear your friend's beautiful voices, too.

Of course, I say this somewhat smugly, as I sit here on my porch clickety-clacking away on my laptop.

If this thing dies? That's a whole 'nother story. Let's hope all of my kids know where all of their phone chargers are until Friday.  

Until then, if you really need me? Just reach out and touch me. I mean, call me. Sorry, Rod. 


  1. That someone who is capable of writing *this* would call ME funny... I'm sorry I need a moment. I'm all verklempt.

    This is just genius.

    1. Awww. You're too kind. And, whatever, Scary Mommy featured writer! You all kinds of famous now, girl.

      Thanks for reading :)

  2. No Ruzzle????? I could do without all the other features, but no Ruzzle.... that would be so hard.

    1. TWISTER! You Ruzzle? When I'm back in this century we are TOTALLY going to play. My Ruzzle name is happyhaus. Game on. In a couple of days.

      Thanks for reading!

    2. Oh I'm always looking for people to play Ruzzle with! I'm fishdishwish. :)

  3. I believe what you are experiencing is some form of cognitive dissonance coping mechanism. I do this on camping trips - "Oh, hey, I guess we don't really need all that crap we left behind at home and, yeah, walking 1/4 mile to the bathhouse is pretty good exercise and really, this is a much healthier way to live, away from all that Wi-Fi and Facebook." Which attitude lasts approximately 2.6 seconds once I get home...

    1. You may be right. Did I mention I'm getting a replacement tomorrow? If this one falls through then you might see me on the news.

  4. I'm still old skool w/ a flip phone, no twitter, instagram, games, no nothing. I find I have more time for person to person contact, work, family, the house, etc. b/c it takes me 12 minutes to type a six word text. I like it this way and I don't want to switch over to a higher form of technology until I am forced. I hope this experiment shows you the good stuff; clarity, slowing down and appreciating the little things.

    However, we do have six computers in the house (2 desk tops and 4 laptops) for four people. Gotta be able to connect somehow.

    Thanks for the great post.

  5. I feel so...out of the loop with certain technology. I just got a smart phone last month and I only did that because I went on my sister's plan to save money and she was able to get a Galaxy for free.

    I also don't Facebook,Twitter or Instagram...gasp!

    1. Gasp is right! No facebook? Just kidding. Some days I am tempted to delete my facebook account. But then someone I haven't heard from in a billion years will pipe up...

      If you ever find yourself playing Ruzzle, look me up :)

    2. Off topic...but it's so weird how my name showed up. It doesn't show the pic of my son like usual...weird.

  6. I go through these stages too, although it’s more with the warranty agent than anyone else. Haha!

    Since it didn’t have any visible crack, something must’ve been jarred inside, causing it to malfunction. The best way of course is to call warranty if you have one, and hopefully have a backup of all the apps and contacts that you have on your phone, so factory resetting becomes a valid option. But in the end, prevention is always better than repair. A good case could’ve saved you and I all the trouble in the first place. That, and having extra phone charger cables, I guess.


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