Sunday, January 7, 2018

Cell Phones, Snow Peas, & Iceberg Lettuce

This latest storm brings to mind an incident from about two years ago:

We had just had a similar storm and I, on about the third round of shoveling, noticed my cell phone had fallen from my pocket.  Being a genius at forethought, I picked it up and put it back into the pocket it had just fallen out of.  Now perhaps you are better at the whole thinking ahead thing than I, and if so I'm sure you will not be surprised that later that night I noticed I had once again lost my cell phone.

We have already established that thinking ahead might not be my forté, but I'm pretty good at recognizing where I've gone wrong (lots of practice there).  I immediately headed out into the driveway with a flashlight.  A thorough search reveals all sorts of stuff but nothing that rings or accesses the internet.  Why haven't you called it you think?   Well because 9 times out of 10 my phone is on vibrate.  One reason, I hate being startled.  Second reason, work. Can't have that phone ringing and pinging and what not while in some super important meeting discussing stuff like, "How the heck do we really know Google Docs is anymore secure than a shared folder on the university's drive?" or "Whether or not we should use both sides of the paper when copying."

While searching around, I have a thought, "Maybe I dropped the phone and then shoveled snow on top of it."  Well that would suck.  Now I have the shovel and I am, by the light of a frozen moon, essentially unshoveling the driveway.  Taking shovelful after shovelful of snow and flipping it into the driveway.  I looked for that damn phone for what felt like years.  What was I thinking anyway??  Why did I need that dumb phone with me?? As if I would have had some critical call that would need to be answered while shoveling.  ugh. After my is face frozen and my fingers have turned a very attractive but painful shade of blue, I give up.

The next day I decide I'm NOT giving up.  The hell with that.  Giving up is for suckers. I have a new idea!  I need to look through this snow better.  And now it's daylight so surely I will find the stupid phone.  At this point though, It's really no longer about the phone.  This is my white whale.  This thing will NOT get away from me. I go get the heavy rake from the shed and now I am raking through and further redistributing the recently unshoveled snow.  My son, that helpful soul, has pulled out his own phone and is filming me in what surely looks like an exercise of insanity.

"Hey mom," He says, "I don't think that's how you get snow peas."  and "Here's my mother preparing for a crop of iceberg lettuce."  "Hey Mom, I've heard of ice plants but I don't think this is how you find them."

I can assure you he's only alive today because I didn't want to be caught on film beating my own (25 year old) kid to death with a rake.  Did I find the phone with the rake?  Nope.  Oh, it's so much better than that. I'm raking away, freezing, determined that this phone is going to be found if it kills me. I'm pretty sure that by this time, in my phone finding frenzy, I'm muttering and cursing.  Eventually, my second son wanders out with his fiancé who casually says, "Don't you have that thing where you can locate your phone with your computer?"

Now I don't mean to be ungrateful, but all I can think at that point is, "Are fucking kidding me?  God DAMMIT!  I knew about that."  I also know I can force the phone to ring using the same dumb feature.  I have never been so angry and happy with a person at the same time.  Angry because, you know, I'm an idiot and that can only be her fault, not mine.  And happy because, well duh. I'm going to find that damn phone.

The story ends well.  I used my tablet and within 4 minutes had a frozen and still functioning phone in my barely useful frozen hands.  Younger son was neither killed nor maimed.  And older son and fiancé went off to get their coffees as they had planned all along.   Of course I did have to shovel one more time to get all the snow back out of the driveway and sidewalk, but I just consider that the price of being me.

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