Although Dearly Beloved has been happily incommunicado ever since retirement, the rest of us have found it a pain. He gives out my cellphone number to businesses, we can’t reach him when he’s out and about, and he ought to have one for emergencies. Finally, Good Egg Son could stand it no longer and gave his dad an iPhone for his birthday.
I thought immediately of how driving separate cars to the beach would be simpler now. That sounds silly, but when we’re making a trip and I make a pit stop, he turns around and comes looking for me, worried about what might have happened.
“I had to pee” sounds so anticlimactic.
Back when he had a cellphone, too, I could call to tell him I was stopping. It wasn’t always simple because one of us–usually him–would forget to turn his phone on, so the caller (me) would have to pull alongside beside the callee, honking the car horn and waving the cellphone out the window as a reminder to turn it on.
He has an iPhone now. Problem solved, right?
I should have been suspicious when I called Sunday to see if he needed anything from Walgreen’s. He didn’t answer. When I got home and asked about it, he said he must have been in the shower .
“I don’t have the ringer on, but it vibrates.”
“Where is it?” I asked him.
The phone was on his dresser. Kind of hard to feel that vibe, I’d think.
His ringtone is a harp sound that he and one of the grandsons selected.
Yesterday we set out in the pouring rain for the beach, driving separate cars. We agreed that we would stay in touch. I was several minutes ahead of him, so when I reached Chick-fil-a, I called to tell him I’d get his order if he’d tell me what he wanted. No answer.
I tried again. Same result.
Frustrated, I called Daughter Pogo from the Chick-fil-a parking lot and asked if she knew how to make that damn phone explode in her father’s pocket.
“I’m not trying to blow off body parts,” I said, “Just a mild shock will do.”
“There’s probably an app for that,” she told me.
About that time he pulled up in the parking spot beside me. Neither of us wanted to get out of our car in that rain. Seeing that I had my phone to my ear, he held up his phone, thinking I was calling him. I was still talking to Pogo. My phone beeped. Now he was calling me. I told Pogo I’d call her later and answered his call, giving him my lunch order.
When he got into my car with my sandwich, he told me to go on ahead, that he was going to sit there and fiddle with his phone. The harp tone wasn’t playing, the ringer wasn’t ringing, and the vibrate option wasn’t vibe-ing. I suggested that he ask any one of the teenagers working behind the Chick-fil-a counter to fix it for him. He wasn’t amused.
At our next pre-arranged stop–the peach stand with the homemade ice cream–I called to see how far behind he was. No answer.
He arrived about ten minutes later and said he’d fixed his phone. I asked why he hadn’t answered, in that case. He looked perplexed and asked me to call him. We sat there in our separate cars, the rain now slowing to a drizzle, while I called him time after time. He’d call me on his phone or shout out his window, “Did you call?”
I sat there, eating my ice cream and listening to a book on CD as I watched him piddling with his phone. When he’d call, I’d call him back. Once when mine rang, I answered, “Yes-s-ssssss? ? as seductively as I could manage with a frozen mouth.
A strange women’s voice asked to speak with DB.
I snorted and lowered my car window, motioning for him to come over. He held up his phone. I shook my head and beckoned again. He waved his phone, indicating that I should call him. Reluctantly, I set my ice cream down on the seat, warning Miss Piggy not to touch it, even though she was in the back of the station wagon. I stepped out of my car into the rain, walked over to DB’s car, and dropped my cellphone into his lap.
“It’s for you.”
Back in my car, Miss Piggy had hurtled her fat self over one seat and was on her way to the front. I picked her up and carried her around to stick her in the back again. We pile our clothes, cooler, and any other luggage we’re taking on the second seat and leave the entire back to her. It’s a little kingdom –her bed, water, a chew toy–yet she climbs over at every opportunity. The dog has no gratitude. If she could drive, I’d be happy back there!
Back in the front seat–alone–I resumed eating and listening to the Jonathan Kellerman mystery as I watched DB. He had finished talking to the mystery woman and had a phone in each hand now, calling his with mine to see if he’d fixed it. Finally, he started his engine and drove off. I went tearing out behind him.
He stopped at the stop sign just before the highway and got out of his car to bring me my cellphone, laughing at his cleverness. That made one of us. He said he had his fixed, that one of the grandsons must have turned something off.
The mystery woman was someone calling to set up an appointment to service our furnace here at the beach.
Too bad it wasn’t Granny Smith.