I remember going on a business lunch back in 2003. It wasn't uncommon for me to have four or five of these a week and usually I'd coax my companion into eating not at the same old "see and be seen" places of Beverly Hills where you'd eat the same $18 salad every afternoon, but somewhere a little less conspicuous where the food was infinitely better. Talesai on Olympic for their amazing coconut soup. John O'Groats for the best breakfast in Los Angeles. I once even took a fellow d-girl to my beloved Nick's diner, where she fell in love not only with the homey neighborhood ambiance but their chocolate chip pancakes, after I coaxed her into ordering them for lunch. I'd not only eat better and often cheaper food throughout the week, but they'd remember me as the girl who introduced them to their new favorite place.
Most of these encounters ended with an exchange of business cards, which I'd effortlessly whip out of my pocket. But one time, after turning a recently transplanted New York exec on to the Huevos O'Groats, she just whipped out her cell phone in the middle of the meal.
"What's your cell phone number?"
"I don't have one."
"You don't HAVE one?"
"Nope. I'm keeping it real."
"I'm all for keeping it real, but... how do you... FUNCTION?"
She couldn't wrap her mind around the whole concept of not wanting to be reached in the very few hours of the week where I wasn't readily reachable in my office or at home. So I left that meeting remembered as "the girl without the cell phone" instead of the one who introduced her to the wonders of eggs and black beans served on top of a tortilla made of biscuit dough.
A few weeks later, I got promoted and a cell phone was quite literally forced into my hands. It felt like a tumor to me, squeezed into my pocket. Within a few days of getting it, I dropped it on the floor of a crowded bar and the screen cracked. But the phone still rang and I could dial out, so I didn't really care about replacing it. What the hell did I need text messaging for anyway?
I did end up replacing the phone, with the one that up until yesterday, I continued to use. The screen was still intact, I could send and receive texts and I had it set to a completely annoying ring. I will never hear Pachlabel's Canon again without thinking of that goddamn cell phone. The thing is, this little potentially radioactive piece of plastic was so worn out that it had grown hard for people to hear me over it. Pauly, for one was completely fed up with straining to listen to my ramblings every night.
Time for a new phone. Thankfully, I was eligible for a free upgrade from Sprint. I should have gone to the Sprint store, but the thought of fighting traffic up La Cienega at 5 p.m. didn't appeal to me. So I went to the Radio Shack five blocks away where it took four (yes, four) non-native English speakers with high-school educations 75 minutes, five phone calls to Sprint, and at least six, out loud, in-the-middle-of-the-store requests for the last four digits of my Social Security Number to get the phone to activate.
"Would you like to get a Bluetooth headset and a car charger for $49.99?" one of them dared to ask me as she finally rang me up.
"No. I would like to get the hell out of here."
So I have a new phone. It's not a Crackberry, for that is the latest layer of technology where I'm continuing to refuse to give in. That and MySpace pages. It does, however, have this nifty, slide-out keyboard for texting. I also discovered last night that one can Instant Message via cell phone now. My infinitely more technologically savvy 25-year old cousin helped me figure it out and I IM'ed with him over the phone last night until I started getting carpal tunnel in my thumbs.
Yeah, I know you're all laughing at me now. Welcome to 2008, Change.
Ergo, with these wild new technological capabilities in my hands, I've completed another hipster ritual. I've joined Twitter. Shouldn't a can of Milwaukee's Beast be falling on my head about now?
So now you can follow me all day and all night. I feel almost as cool as Jen Leo right now.