Monday, May 01, 2006

So Today I Left my Cell Phone at Home, Luckily I Hate the Phone ... or do I?

Sometimes, 'cause my mind is always a-buzzin' with important ideas, I do things like leave my cell phone at home. For example: I did this today.

I just want my texts! I know I've got some cute ones just sitting there, being funny, and I'm an entire borough away, not LOL'ing at them!

Some people liken the no-phone sensation to the feeling of having one's arm chopped off.

But....I'm not a big fan of "the phone." I've never been, really, but I also can't imagine life without it. Wait, yeah--I can. Because I used to live without cell-phones AND I've had several male friends who've been w/o cell phones at some point (Women, except for the fictional Carrie Bradshaw, ALWAYS have cell phones, cause that's how they can get mad at men for not calling them). I have cell-less pals because I like cowboys and poor people.

People who know me know that I'm not so good with the phone. My little brother and I are both bad on the phone, so we generally don't speak that often. It's hard for me to get along with people who refuse to text, like Noah did last summer. But then Matty told him; "Noah, if you want to talk to Marie, you gotta play by her rules." I like to write words. Like I'm doing now. Sometimes a verbal chat is in order, and I've had many lovely phone conversations. Jeremiah's insistence on texting everything, including a fight, once, was a bit tedious and I'd often beg him to let me call him, which is out of character.

I can't hear anything, to begin with, especially in New York, where people like to walk around and get all breathy in their phones while trucks drive by with their loud noises -- AND also usually trucks are ALSO driving by ME, so that's TRUCKS on BOTH ENDS -- or like, today, I was blindsided by a dozen or more hip-height schoolchildren stuffing their faces with french fries, yabbering in some incomprehensible children-language and taking up massive amounts of space. Space in New York is already limited; we're doing our best to avoid stepping on the blankets laid out with bent-spine paperbacks, broken mugs, travel-sized shampoos, incense, old magazines, and live children make this even worse, so basically, it's really hard to understand anything anyone is ever saying.

Also when voice mails pile up, I get all this anxiety and stop listening to them. Unless you leave me funny voice mails. Then I save them and re-listen a million times, and also LOL. You people know who you are with the funny voice mails!!

I spent 95% of my VM-listening moments trying to figure out if it's my reception at that moment or their reception WHILE THEY LEFT IT that make their words so impossible to decipher.

That's why I love texting! Because there's the info--right there--accessible, easily referenced, all that. You can text anywhere, anytime, and no one knows what you're doing! You can text and say you're somewhere, but you're really somewhere else! You can text important information like addresses, times, and grocery lists! You can text all about what you'd like to do to me while I'm in fuzzy handcuffs on all fours! (Just kidding on that last one!) You can text in a quiet room, you can text at the gym, it's really just terrific, if it wasn't for the 160 character limit. (Krista doesn't have this on her phone, so she writes long messages that then assault my phone and transform it into R2-D2 on crack.)

I prefer to think of cellphones as fancy walkie-talkies, which are good for things like: "Um, I'm upstairs by the shoes? Are you still trying shit on?" or "Where the fuck are you, bitch?" or "Um, is it 127 85th street or 721?" or you know, like "Is your refrigerator running?" which I still think is super funny.

Anyhow, the point is: I try to make it known that I don't always answer my phone, because I usually don't, and it's never personal to the caller. I'm also not a big fan of people getting legitimatly upset at me for not picking up my phone in general (as opposed to when there's a specific reason I should pick up). Their ire may be justified ... or not. I try to only answer when I can give people my whole attention. Also, my arm gets tired.

It's nice to leave my phone at home and go out alone, though there's always this nagging anxiety that I can't shake, which is when I try to close my eyes and remember that time before cellphones, and how much anxiety I had then about calls from girls/boys I had crushes on that I was possibly missing by being at Hebrew School instead of at home.

However, my experience in befriending or dating people w/o cell phones I've learned of certain advantages; you know they can't really be late or cancel plans, 'cause it's difficult to let you know if they do (there's often home phones/dorm phones/work phones, but that's hard when you're out all day ... when Matty had no electricity or money, he had to call from pay phones (when he could afford them), which are super fun when you get all these random numbers on your caller ID, like when Paul the alcoholic was stalking me). Basically, you're forced to make plans of when and where you'll meet up with someone, rather than that fun new thing we do when we say "I'll call you" and then you can totally just not.

So yeah, then why....Why do I feel so amputated today?. It seems wrong 'cause for a lot of the weekend I was theorizing possible ways to get away and write somewhere w/o the distractions of modern life; mobiles, electricity, running watter. Except for my laptop and running water, I need those things. I don't need light because I'm a vampire.

The real problem with leaving one's phone at home in NYC is that people don't know you did it, and they're already cursing you for not picking up. Like, what if my Mom is calling? I'd feel bad for not picking up.

I wish there was a voice mail that KNEW when a phone had been left at home, and the voice mail would say; "Hi, remember before you had cell phones? Well, today is kinda like that."

Update 5/2/2006: My Mom totally called!

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