May 21, 2024
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May 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

August 20 started out as any other day. Husband #1 and I reached the “20 years of staying married and not killing each” other milestone. We had planned on celebrating by continuing not to kill each other, and going out to dinner with our three sons. The boys were getting reacquainted with air conditioning and being able to walk around barefoot as they had returned home from camp; the weather was nice and all was fine. My washing machine kept asking me why, after seven weeks of rest and relaxation, was it getting such a workout (yes, my washing machine speaks to me. His name is Victor and we have a lovely relationship as long as he continues to work). I was enjoying the fact that I did not have to drive anyone anywhere because my in-laws, while in Florida, had left their car here. It was all good.

As I have mentioned in previous columns, my phone, Grandma Flippy, has been having a bit of a hard time lately. She and I have been together for six years, that is three upgrades in phone years, and I love her. Sure, she doesn’t take pictures or videos. Sure, she doesn’t have a keyboard, but she fits in the palm of my hand and I only need one hand to send messages or make phone calls. I can no longer text unless it is shady and her colors are all bleeding into a weird shade of purple. But we have been through a lot. I have stopped speaking to many people on that phone, she knows all of my secrets and she had become a fixture in many of my “routines.” You can throw her on the floor and nothing happens to her. You can flush her down the toilet and she will just pop up again, smiling. She is practically indestructible.

Well, on August 20th, the “emergency calls only” message was on Flippy’s screen. I didn’t really think anything of it because of her health problems. Whenever I would receive a group text, she would have a seizure, turn off and then turn back on with the “emergency calls only” message brightly displayed. That is because Flippy looks out for me and if there was ever any emergency, God forbid, I have access to 911. I am assuming that is what the “emergency calls only” sign means, unless it is a direct dial to Chickies for a beat box sandwich, but that is another story.

My parents had come over to visit the boys and while they were there, the boys said they had a present for me. One of my boys said he wanted to video my reaction. This was quite suspicious. In walks son #1 and he hands me a white box. Inside the white box was, wait, I need a moment…OK, inside the white box was an iPhone. “Mom,” son #1 said proudly, “I went to the Apple store and they activated it for you. All you have to do now is go back so they can transfer your contacts.” The boys were all standing around me waiting for my reaction. They all looked so excited. What’s a mother to do? I started to cry. I wish I was kidding. I also wish I could say I was crying because I was so touched by their thoughtfulness, but I was crying because there is something seriously wrong with me and I was not ready to let Flippy go. Flippy is a part of me and this large iPhone thing was beyond my realm of comprehension. I do not like change.

“Mom, you have got to calm down and I can’t take it back because Grandma Flippy is now dead. She cannot be resuscitated and you cannot return the iPhone.” My boys and their father know me. They knew I was going to bring it back and they did everything they could to make sure that wouldn’t happen. Include hide Grandma Flippy from me.

So it is now official. Grandma Flippy is dead and she will soon be in the hands of a class of 2 year olds at the JCC preschool thanks to my friend who asked me to donate her. She will have a good life there and won’t have to worry about being charged or, well, working at all. And I have entered the 21st century. I am no longer the only person without a smartphone. But I am the crazy person who keeps yelling at her phone in public because I have no idea what all the buzzing and dinging means, and I have to text with two hands, and I really should just stop complaining and appreciate the nice thing that husband #1 did for me.

Yup, that was just his present. A public thank you for the phone. Now, all you husbands who give me a hard time for pointing out all of his foibles can go give him a hearty handshake and a pat on the back. Blah blah blah! Happy freakin’ anniversary…

Banji Ganchrow is a self-proclaimed writer who does not have unlimited data. She is not sure what that means, but doesn’t think it is a good thing.

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

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