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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How the Mighty are Fallen

I have always sworn that I would never own a smartphone.  I also said that about a Kindle.  And now, of course, we have four Kindles, which I absolutely love.  I can't remember the last time I actually read a paper book.  I also said I'd never get an iPad.  Now, unsurprisingly, I use my iPad every single day - and am looking forward to having it in about a week when we trek halfway across the world again.  The only moral high ground I had left - because we just had fruity pebbles for breakfast - was a smartphone.

And I just lost that one.  Sigh.

It all started when I began planning for my three-month medevac for William's birthday.  I have always used two different phones, one for the States and one for overseas.  My overseas phone - a cheap Nokia the embassy issued when we moved here - actually works in the U.S., but our charger is a European plug 220 charger.  My American phone is a Net10 phone that I just refill when we got back every year.  It's a solution that works, but isn't very elegant.

And if there's anything I enjoy, it's an elegant solution.  Which is, of course, a phone that works in the States and overseas.  Obviously.  I've thought about buying a GSM regular phone before, but we all know the most elegant solutions of all.  An iPhone.  After all we do have an iMac, a MacBook, an iPad, and iPods.  We're just missing one member of the family.

I brought up the idea with Brandon.  "You know..." I started out one evening when the children had been particularly good and we had just finished watching an episode of Poldark, "I've been thinking...."  He immediately got the wary look that inevitably follows that opening and sat up.  "What have you been thinking?"  He's been married to me long enough to know when I'm up to something.

I explained to him how I'd be going to the States and would need a phone and wouldn't it just make so much sense to get an iPhone because then he could always communicate with me and I would never miss his emails and I would take more pictures and could text with my family and friends in the US and I would have a GPS and really it would just make so much sense.  He listened, skeptical, as I attempted to justify adding one more piece of Apple technology to our stable.  I finished with the kicker, "And the B---s have several older ones just sitting around because T-- just go a 7 and gave his 6s to T---- and I'm just sure they'd be willing to sell T---s old 6 to us....." I trailed off.

Brandon sighed, recognizing the rationalization hamster spinning madly at its wheel trying to justify something that really, in the end, I just wanted for no better reason than it was shiny and cool.  He sighed again.  "I don't think it's a good idea. But you can do what you want.  However, if you put Candy Crush on that phone, I'm throwing it into the trash."  I tried to hide my delight and acted very obedient.  "Okay, thanks.  I'll talk to T--- about it."

The next day I contacted my friend, who, as all good friends do, only encouraged me in my pursuit of shiny technology.  "Of course we could sell you the 6!  I'll ask T-- about it and get back to you.  But you should definitely do it!  It's a great idea!"  She talked with her husband and got back to me with the price.  I obviously hadn't done my homework because I didn't realized how much unlocked, good condition iPhones run for.  I told her that I would have to talk with Brandon about it, which meant that it wasn't going to happen and let my shiny smartphone dreams die, murdered by penny-pinching.

A few days later she dropped by to borrow a stroller.  After chatting for a few minutes, she whipped out a few phones.  "While I'm here, I thought I'd show you the 5s we also have sitting around.  It's less than the 6.  But if you're interested in the 6, it's only $75 more than the 5s."  I thought about it for about thirty seconds, and bought the 5s.  I handed over the cash before I could change my mind.  "Great!" she enthused.  "I'll have T-- come over in an hour or two and set it up for you."  

After she left I thought about good technology and better technology and how much $75 really isn't and how really, it's easier to text on a bigger screen and how a newer phone would last longer.  By the time my friend called to to tell me her husband was coming over, I told her to have him bring the 6.  Because it turns out I'm just as acquisitive as the next girl.

And that is how I ended up doing the thing I swore I'd never do.  Principle, evidently, don't stand up very well to shiny, pretty, cool, technology.  Oh well.  Time to go get Candy Crush.

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