Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cell Phones, Toilets, and Other Nonsense

Last week was the end of the 3rd nine weeks...Hannah was fervishly, not to mention desperately, putting all her energies into her studies to bring her grades above passing.  The icing on the cake was a possible Spring Break trip to the ocean if her hard work paid off. 

Monday started her down the home stretch to Wednesday, and she was cautiously feeling her heavy burden lifting...her Algebra class was the last class pulling her down, and she had already made up tests and was waiting for them to be posted.  She was to make up the last 2 tests after school.  School let out, but her teacher had apparently left early for the day.  She began to get a bit nervous.

Tuesday she found out her Algebra teacher had been hospitalized (he did get to go home Thursday)--dashing all her hopes for a spring break trip without those grades.  It went from bad to worse when I received a phone call at work that went something like this:

"Mom? mpdlfosapiueph vfpdks dsldkewfs..."

"Hannah, I can't hear you hon...I have Ms. Elaine on the other line.  Can I call you right back?"

"No mom...tell Misty not to call me if she needs me before I see her for tutoring."


"I just told you...because my phone is mpfppmf mifl;pas pmgffslep."


"My phone is in the SEWER SEA!"


"My phone was accidentally flushed down the toilet!"

"What happened?"

"I'll tell you later...i'm in class and i have to go."

I later learned that she put her phone in her jacket pocket--which she never does...She used the rest room on the way to class--which she never does...She flushed the toilet with her hand--which she never does. 
When she bent over and flushed, the phone--as she described it--dived straight into the toilet and was sucked away...no tornado swirls, no banging against porcelain...just a flash of color. 

I never realized the importance of a phone to a teenager until she described her mortification at the realization her phone was forever gone, lost in the sewer sea. 

Though neither of the girls have any bells and whistles on their phones...no texting, no internet, just 400 minutes to split between them...she did have a multitude of phone numbers with photos, special names, and special ringtones (that took hours to look up on youtube and record by placing the phone right next to the speaker.  But there was the matter of her grades. 

So, Wednesday came, and so did the grades.  Hannah triumphantly pulled every single grade (and she was STRUGGLING with 6 out of 7 classes) from disasters to 1 incomplete, 2 As, 3 Bs, and 1 C (and it is only one point away from a B!)  Unbelievable!

So off to AT&T we go to find out IF there are any options outside of paying full price for a replacement. We proceed to tell the CS rep Hannah's woeful story which brings a knowing smile to the man's face as he heads to the computer to look us up.  Lo and behold, Keith has an upgrade she can use to replace her old phone for ONLY $19.99 compared to the $229 it would cost otherwise.  We make the deal and turn to leave--with visions of our happy daughter running through our minds--when the CS rep notes that I am also due for an upgrade!  To which my dear husband whispers under his breath, "Yea, but she wants the iphone..." (yes, for 3 years now...)

"Well...with your upgrade and additional discounts, you'll pay only $40!"

Drool begins to dribble down my chin..."Yeah, but one price of the package deal we'd have to pay for to have the phone..."

"Well...let's take a look at you current package."  He pulls out his little calculator and calculates the package deal that would get us the most for the least and proudly announces, "you'll end up paying $25.44 (or something like that) more than what you are currently paying.  Not only will you have internet access and texting, but you also will have GPS, weather, free apps, ability to synch your calendars, notes, mail, etc., and an ipod!"

I'm looking at Keith with that obsessed look in my eye, and he knows the battle is already over realizing he's put off the inevitable as long as he could.  I hear something about Mother's Day coming up as he pulls out the debit card...my ears are ringing, my palms are sweaty, and i'm as googled-eye as a 5-year-old on Christmas morning! 

AN IPHONE!!!!  Now mind you, my reasons for wanting the iphone have nothing to do with internet access and texting--in fact, i could care less about those features and have a personal soapbox regarding those features.  HOWEVER,  an address book that doesn't have to be rewritten year after year, a calendar that can be synched with my computer, and an ipod--all in one little 2.5x4.5 fit-into-the-palm-of-my-hand contraption--small enought to actually FIT into my purse!!!  YESS!  But one top of that, it has a GPS!!!  I will never get lost again  (i am, admittedly, directionally illiterate)!!!!  It also has a decent camera AND i can download my bible into it! (i've since discovered that i can also download an app that will turn my phone into a flashlight!)

I AM IN HEAVEN!  Sooo...off we go with our goody bag discussing whether or not to tell the girls they have texting yet or wait until they leave for spring break...we arrive home not long after the girls.

Hannah's first question, of course, is "What did you find out?"

The joker in me jumps out, and I come up with a story.  "I'm sorry, Hannah.  They don't have anything until your upgrade in May.  You'll just have to wait until then."

Silence.  Quiet, surrendered silence.

"So, no options, huh?" 

"No."  I walk away thinking of how to fabricate this story more. "However, for emergencies, they said we could get a prepaid phone...and it was less than $10."  I throw her what she thinks is a cheap emergency phone, and she grudgingly starts to open it before she realizes it's her replacement phone! Of course, she explodes with excitement and gratitude as she eagerly opens it.

After a bit, Keith says, "Did you show them what you got?"

I pull out my phone, hiding it from their view, and with the same obsessed look, slowly reveal the little apple on the back of the phone.

In hopeful anticipation, Rebeka's spouts, "So does this mean we have texting?!?!"

"No dear,"  I lie.  "Only I have the internet and texting service.  Sorry."

After sitting for a minute or two, the girls pick up their things and head upstairs. Instantly deciding that I'll text them to reveal they have texting, I attempt to figure out HOW to text!  Finally, I figure it out and text them:

"By the way...you both DO have texting."  Send.

A few seconds pass before we hear simultaneous beeps come from upstairs.  I hear a "HUH?" come from one of the girls, and then screaming.  Footsteps clamor from one room, then back to the other--more screaming and four feet scrambling down the stairs.  Rebeka throws herself at her daddy with a plethera of "thank you's."


More kisses and hugs and "thank you's,"  and for the next half hour, the house is filled with bleeps and beeps echoing from one end to the other as the texting grapevine returns hundreds of congratulations and YAYYY's before I make them turn the phones off (for sanity's sake if nothing else!!)

And that, folks, is the story of how the toilet brought our family into the 21st century of phone technology...and though I have now had my phone for a week, I have learned how to use only the GPS proficiently!!! 

Even Keith is having a bit of fun learning to text!  We have to admit though, every time we start texting, we end up calling the recipient!!!

So, despite all the struggles, mishaps, and frustrations that life has thrown our way, at the end of the day (or, in this case, end of the nine weeks), God is still with us accomplishing the impossible (even throwing in an extra physical blessing), bringing smiles and warmth into our family circle, proving that our cup runneth over...