Tonight, I saw a thread on the forum of my Star Wars guild titled “Worst day ever.” I went to check it out, thinking the author, who is of the teenager persuasion, lost a grandparent, was in a car wreck, had a dog run off, or some other horrible thing that meets my criteria for making a day “the worst.”
I love teenagers. They have a joie de vivre that I can’t achieve anymore due to what I prefer to call “Life Experience.” For you geeks out there, think of it as “Jae has a lot of xp. A LOT of xp!!” Teens have fresh views on life that only someone that young can achieve. We “More Experienced People” can relive some of it, but we can’t ever go back. There are no spells that reduce our levels in Real Life. We can’t ever experience the wonder of seeing hyperspace in Star Wars the first time more than once. It’s not quite the same the second (or 200th) time. Being a teenager is kind of the same, sort of like being a life virgin. For seven years.
Anyway, when I think of my worst day ever, it usually involves things like people dying, a family member on a respirator after surgery, getting through the first day after a knee replacement, being laid off from a job, getting tortured by ISIS, having my garage set on fire by the druggie ex-tenants, being martyred, those kinds of thing. Losing my phone doesn’t even make it to the Top 100 Ways To Make My Day The Worst EVER. I forget that when I was 15, I thought getting grounded from a youth group retreat or spilling Diet Pepsi right on the crotch of my pants while at school probably constituted a declaration of it being the “worst day ever!”
The teen’s “worst day ever” was not nearly as exciting as my kind of “worst.” They described how their phone got broken falling off a locker (yes, I know it’s a plural pronoun describing a singular teen. I’m going with gender anonymity here to protect said teen). They then declared they wouldn’t be able to get online at school. Unless there was a computer in class. Since you can’t swing a dead pixel around your head without hitting a computer in any school nowadays, I’m pretty sure they’ll be online in about a millisecond.
I haven’t died when I’ve broken a phone. In fact, there were a few times I wanted to break my phone so that the world couldn’t find me for 10 minutes. Nearly everyone these days thinks that they are the only ones on the planet calling or texting you and can’t understand how you could even consider not being available to accommodate them Right Then. I mean, driving, being asleep at 3am, having an eye exam or birthing a baby at that moment is no excuse. Clearly we should have been considerate enough to anticipate their call and rescheduled our labor for another time more convenient for the caller.
I keep my phone around, however. It is handy to have since there are no more pay phones. It’s also handy for playing Plague while I sit in a doctor’s office waiting to be seen.
Anyhow, what really got me giggling in the teen’s post was the final sentence in the post: “…I’m pretty sure I will die without a phone I am not being dramatic pray for me”. Ah, to be a teen again and have no more worries than how to send an emoji or meme to my friends should my battery die or screen crack.
Being the Geeky Mom that I am, I
a. couldn’t resist reassuring the teen, and
b. couldn’t resist adding a little sass to my reply.
So I posted this:
Did you know I grew up without a cell phone AT ALL? And we had to spin this circle thing called a rotary dial around to dial numbers. I mean, we didn’t even have touch tone buttons or speed dial!! And the phone was attached to the wall with a cord. On the plus side, we never lost the phone! And we could only buy a phone from the phone company so we had, like, zero choices in models and maybe a whole 3 color choices–ugly beige, avocado green, or Mary Kay pink. And we only had 1 phone line for _five_ of us. And if Mom or Dad (or worse–my little sisters!!) picked up the extension phone without me knowing, they could hear EVERYTHING my friend and I were saying and SPY ON US! I was sure I’d die, too.
(Un)Fortunately for all of us, I survived.
If you write notes on pieces of paper and give them to your friends in class, it’s just like text messaging, but on paper instead of on a phone. If you want, draw pictures on the notes just like emojis. The cool thing is you can fold the notes up in these neat origami designs like snowflakes and cranes and kites and such. You can also fold them into a little football and toss them around the room while the teacher’s back is turned. You can’t do that with a phone.
I miss the old days.
I probably added at least 5 years to my purgatory time with that response.
(Image source: MemeCenter)