It was a Saturday morning. I started a load of family laundry and placed my new iPhone 5 on the top of the pile, intending to place it on the charger en route to the laundry room. Distracted by a barrage of questions from my son, I bypassed the charger and dumped the load in the washer, started it, and went into the kitchen to start cooking breakfast.
Seven minutes later I realized that my phone was in that laundry basket. Seven minutes through the wash, I fished that phone out of the clothes washer. Little did I know that at that moment, the next 72 hours were going to be a wild ride, with a full range of emotions.
Let me give you a window into my world. I am a working mother. I work out of my home, so when I am not home, my phone is my life. I take tons of pictures, answer emails, talk to people, text, update Instagram, tweet, update Pinterest and so on. You name it, I’m doing it off my phone, and when I bought the new iPhone 5, it was a game changer. The great camera and faster loading quickly allowed me to get more work done on the fly, which meant I was spending more time using the phone. A lot more time. And I did not realize how much more time it until it was gone.
I polled friends on Facebook about my predicament and the overwhelming advice guided me to put my phone in a bag of rice, where it would lie in state for 48 hours. It mocked me from that damn bag of rice for 48 hours.
The first 24 hours included an entire Saturday. A Saturday complete with two sports games, a birthday party, a pep rally, a pizza dinner at school and general shuttling of children. I had to lay out my entire day to my husband so he would know where I would be at any given moment. We planned to reconvene at 4 p.m., by which point I was twitching. I did not know anyone’s phone number. I had nothing to look at during my daughter’s volleyball game (God forbid I watch the entire game and not check my email!). I had a phantom pain in my hand where my phone usually is. But most of all, I felt entirely too vulnerable. What if my car broke down? What is something happened to a member of my family? What if Lucas G. is beating me on Words with Friends? Oh no!
I reverted back to the good ole landline Saturday afternoon. I even pulled out my address book to try to find a phone number. If only I had a 10 foot cord on that phone so I could wrap my body again and again like a mummy, just like I did for hours on end in high school. I did decide to lay upside down and talk on the phone, just like the good ole days.
When I saw my people at school on Saturday night, there were a lot of,”Why did you not answer my text”? “Are you mad at me?” You see, I am a communicator. When I don’t answer a communication, people assume I have been kidnapped or am trapped under a large object without my phone in my hand. Saturday night, I got home as the land line was ringing. It was my friends asking where I was because I was supposed to be at their house for after pep rally drinks. Yup, missed that one.
By Sunday I was just solidly pissed. I believe I launched from denial to anger like a rocket. But, the day was beautiful, so I got very zen about the whole experience, accepted it and went outside. By Sunday dinner, I got to a place where I thought that I could live without communicating with anyone. I was like Tom Hanks on Castaway now. Oh, but with the pesky exception of these four people in this house who needed me all the time.
Who needed the phone? Or texting? Blah blah blah. I could communicate face-to-face only from now on. I was going to live like the Amish.
At the 48-hour mark, it was time to take the phone out of the rice. I said a slight prayer and when I reached into the bag, it was still damp. That’s not a good sign. It turned on, but thought to myself, “Something ain’t right here.” I don’t remember a green lava lamp screen before.
I relented and took it to the Cell Phone Doctor. I was going to have to wait at least a day or two until I heard back from them.
After 72 hours, I was told my phone was unrepairable. And I’ll have you know that they have a 75% success rate, so I was the 35% fail. But, I could buy another iPhone for the small price of $600. So, I’m back, using a friend’s iPhone 4, which he so nicely gave me. I had it about five minutes before it reattached itself to my hand. All is well in the world again.
And PS, I sold the water damaged phone on eBay for the parts for over $200.