I had the dish soaking on the sink, and somehow my phone landed in it while I was talking to my mother. It was submerged for just a couple of seconds, but that was all it took to render it completely useless.
Thankfully, the phone was one of those disposable ones that are popular among criminals as well as cheapskates such as myself.
Mine was of the flip variety. It did everything that I expected of it for $40. I could talk, text and check Facebook from time to time.
When I went to the store to replace my phone on Saturday, I was disappointed to see that they were out of the one I wanted. The store I visited on Sunday was too, so I bit the bullet and upgraded to the $60 version that looks like a Blackberry.
Although I’m still getting used to this weird little contraption, at least we’re on speaking terms.
But for approximately 24 hours last weekend, I found myself in a situation truly unique in today’s society – without a phone.
I didn’t think that would be a problem for me since I don’t consider myself someone who invests my life in a cheap piece of plastic. However, I began experiencing withdrawal symptoms almost immediately.
I knew I was guilty of checking my phone frequently for the time, missed calls or text messages, but apparently this has morphed from a nervous habit into an obsession.
I must have reached into my back pocket every five minutes for those first few hours. My heart skipped a beat each time I realized my phone wasn’t there.
It seems that the act of flipping open my phone and then snapping it shut almost immediately is necessary to keep me calm throughout the day.
Since I was home almost all weekend, losing my phone also cut me off from communication with others.
At one point, I had myself convinced that my entire inner circle was growing concerned because I wasn’t responding to their flurry of text messages.
Then I realized that they were all probably so busy that they weren’t trying to get in touch with me for those 24 hours anyway. Unless I told them, they might not have known for weeks that there wasn’t a person at the end of my contact info in their cell phones.
That was a classic “light bulb moment” for me. (Thanks, Oprah.)
Without it, I’m sure I would have tried to track down all of the numbers that had been stored in my old phone so I could save them in my new one. Instead, I took some time to think about who is important to me and who isn’t.
If I didn’t have someone’s number memorized or couldn’t reach him or her easily in person or through Facebook, there might be a reason I didn’t have to have it.
Contrary to our 21st century instincts, a silent phone isn’t a bad thing.
Just as forests sometimes have to be cut down so that new growth can occur, occasionally we have to hang up to give ourselves a chance to recharge our batteries.
When the phone starts ringing again, hopefully the caller will find a much happier person on our end of the line.