I got my first cell phone my sophomore year of college. It was the year I also got to take my dad's old car up to BYU with me and my parents wanted to make sure I was safe. It was mom's old phone, a giant, folded phone (what would now be termed a flip phone, but think Walkman sized. Although if you can't picture a late nineties cell phone, you probably also have no idea what a Walkman is). It was only for emergencies, especially since the calling plan didn't include long distance or roaming, and it's home base was southern California while it was living in Utah. It was never on. I only used it once (an important event, not even an emergency). Then a year or two later I actually got a decent sized, you can call me on this, cell phone. Except I still only had like 60 minutes a month (but free first incoming minutes). My friend Gloria and I would call each other and have 55 second conversations figuring out where the other one was, and what our plan was for the night. Then we'd hang up before the call timer reached one minute. About three years ago we got rid of our land line and Jed and I now only have cell phones.
Today, the kids and I ran to the library and then I decided to stop at Old Navy as well. About halfway to the library I realized I'd forgotten my cell phone. I was anxious for the next two hours as we drove around town and did our thing. Not because I was worried that I'd get into an accident and I wouldn't have phone with which to call for help... everyone has a cell phone these days and someone else could call for help. I was nervous because I was unreachable.
People who know me and have called me, know that they almost never get my voicemail. I'm always reachable. Unless I'm in the shower. Or my phone is still plugged in upstairs next to the bed, and I'm in another part of the house. Or possibly, if I'm avoiding your call. I was worried that there would be some sort of family emergency and I wouldn't know about it for two hours. Or that Jed would need something, and he'd worry because I wasn't answering.
When did I become this way? Maybe I should leave my cell phone at home more often. Or maybe that would give me a heart attack. I used to drive all over the place without a cell phone. I used to be able to wander around town and have no one know where I was, with no possibility of locating me until I came home. This now panics me.
5 hours ago