Me, Beyonce and the Apple Guy

You might remember that I dropped my phone a few times, but found a new functional normal. I think this is so weird because I’ve owned phones for 10 years and have only destroyed one phone, but I’ve destroyed this one phone FOUR TIMES! And it just keeps working. So, I basically had no reaction when the phone fell into the bath this morning. I just fished it out, polished it off, and thought, silly phone.

The thing is (and here is where you will start to scratch your head about me), I had almost boiled myself first, so I think you will agree that my judgement was compromised.

It was a rare morning with hours of time, nobody home, and an appointment at 11a to deal with a few inches of premature grey- my favorite day of the 12 weeks! Fine, 8 weeks. Fine 6. Fine, my favorite day every 4 weeks. The point is, I didn’t have to wash my hair! I had just exercised (in my imagination) and we have this perfectly relaxing garden tub. But our master bath sometimes doesn’t get super hot-hot. I tried to fix this once and ended up flooding the house. Now, instead of accidentally wrenching entire fixtures off the wall, I boil water in teakettles and giant soup cauldrons to pour into the tub as it’s filling up. This also satisfies my frequent homesickness for Belize.

Usually one or two teakettles of boiling water does the trick, and the bath is toasty. But last week I got a little greedy and boiled two teakettles and two dutch ovens of water. It was extra cold out, and I thought it would be just perfect. I rubbed my hands together in anticipation, grabbed my phone and book, turned on the jets and jumped in.

Instantly boiled legs. I gently placed the phone on a raised portion of the ledge to turn on the cold water and perform my own first aid (I’m trained). As soon as I stabilized myself and the water temperature, the phone slid itself off the little raised box and plopped into the water. I have envisioned this exact thing happening several other times, and therefore, am typically extra careful with this blasted phone around the water. But, you know, I was distracted.

To my surprise, the phone dried right off and worked as usual. I texted and called and played music and shrugged at this magical phone’s will to live. But, I was late for the hair lady. So I threw on some clothes and ran out the door. On the way, different functions of the phone stopped working, and by the time I was at the hair place, the phone was stuck.

The home button was dead, so I could only respond if some kind of alert appeared on the screen like a phone call or text. But then I couldn’t get off that screen until something else appeared. I thought I was very creative when I spent two hours at the hair lady sending texts to friends and family that said: Can you send me a Facebook message to get me onto Facebook? And Facebook messages that said: Can you send me a text to get me back to the text message screen? This, to coordinate work and clients for the rest of the day. I could never get to my contact screen, which had all the numbers programmed. You might imagine that all hell broke loose when my calendar alert for the hair appointment I was already at kept popping onto the screen and whisking me away to the calendar. I had to wait patiently for someone else to contact me to get out of calendar screen and back onto messaging or phone mode.

Next, I thought I would stop by the Apple store, because others had convinced me Apple might just swap out the phone. I thought to myself: If they ask me, Did you drop your phone into the bath? then I’ll say yes. But if they don’t ask, it’s just the home button issue. Oh, and the 45 cracks have been there since May, so I’ll tell them to disregard those. I thought I might be inside my year warranty, but I learned that 45 cracks voids the warranty. Also, when they opened the phone, water poured out. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The Apple store checked me in and said it would be an hour wait. This is where I find myself in that commercial where one bad decision leads to another, and I blame everything on everything else. Obviously I had no choice but to eat a burger at the food court, sample everything at Williams Sonoma three times, and collect my free chocolate from Godiva.

All this at the Fashion Mall, wearing an outfit I had just thrown on, which means I liked each piece separately a lot but should never have worn them all together. It was worse than sweatpants, which I still maintain I can pull off even at the mall. But on this day: brown Uggs, a pink-brown-turquiose tie-dyed peasant skirt, a black shirt, brown leather jacket, and my brand new bright red Valentines purse containing three plastic Mardi Gras coins, a tiny little king cake baby, and the iphone I had just dropped into the bath, which had navigated itself to the music playlist via voice control- not MY voice- and played Beyonce Countdown on speaker, over and over, for the entire hour as I was stuffing face with chocolate and samples at William Sonoma.

To finish the day, when the Apple store guy was setting up my new refurbished phone, he asked if I had backed the phone up recently. I was like, No. I can’t back up, because every time I plug the phone in, it says I need to download the new iTunes. I can’t download the new iTunes because my Macbook has an Operating System from 2008 (Leopard), and the most recent iTunes update needs at least Snow Leopard, which was being delivered to my door at the exact moment I was at the Apple store. Do you know how I know? Because I got an alert from UPS, but I couldn’t access it on my broken phone thanks to Beyonce, who just would not stop. And there we were: me, Beyonce and the apple guy, my bad outfit, 8 thousand calories, and a puddle of water.

***My mom wants a moral to this story. I don’t really know where to go with that. Don’t drop your phone in the bath, maybe?


Working Through the Cracks

Life has a way of laughing at me by reflecting my insides through unfortunate events.

A couple of years ago, I likened my life to my 2-inch long bangs:

The bad thing about not having a job is that you have time to do things like cut your own bangs. If you look at my bangs, they’re equally proportionate to my life since returning from Belize: sort of aimless and random, but well-intentioned with a touch of frantic. They scream: Something good can be done with this space if I could just get it together!

Last May, I shattered my iphone. It happened 40 minutes after receiving what I had thought was the worst news regarding our chances to conceive naturally: we would have to pay for treatment. On the other side of paid treatment and still no kids, I can tell you (me), there is worse news.

My cell phone had dropped out of my pocket, and fell only 12 inches to the ground, screen totally shattered. It seemed like an over-the-top response from my blasted phone to shatter entirely when it had only dropped a foot. What a weak phone. Really, though, having been dropped so many other times before, down entire flights of stairs without a scratch, I understood that it must have hit the sidewalk at such an angle the stress was too much and it just burst.

When I dropped the phone, I was leaving a friend’s house who had lost physical custody of her kids due to substance abuse. The combination of these things was too much, and as I picked up the phone and turned it over to see the shattered screen, I burst. I couldn’t help but match the screen to the state of my soul in that moment. Instant tears. Paralyzed in grief. Days (weeks?) of recovery.

At some point several months later, battling our front yard space, I wrote this:

Our blooming flowers that were dead a month ago are saving my life right now. The way these flowers, planted on almost the exact weekend we began our journey through unparenthood, have become reflective of my insides- bright and cheery, withered, dead, sprouting, full-bloom, wilted, thirsty, drowning, blooming… endless, the stages, and totally dependent on things they’re not in charge of.

Today I shattered the screen again. Sometime in the summer, I had dropped the phone and cracked the newly replaced screen in one spot. I figured out quickly that, although one crack had branched into 4 little fractures, the phone was fully functional. I had reached the point I almost didn’t even see those cracks anymore.

Today, for the third time, I dropped the phone off a bench onto carpeted floor at LA Fitness, and the screen split. Another one of those weird angle, less than 10-inch drops. Another 8 cracks off the original 4, and on a different branch, two more cracks. One original crack now sprawled into 14 jagged lines. But the phone works. My feeling (although not good) was something like this: we’ve been through this before, and we’re sturdier now. Phone, I’m not mad at you, and we will not buy another screen. We will continue to work through the cracks.

And just like that, I wanted to give myself a hug. Self. We’ve been through this before, and we’re sturdier now. I am not mad at you, and we will not try to fix you anymore. We will continue to work through the cracks. And this is how God speaks to me.