Monday, March 5, 2012

Communication Deprivation

This weekend, I inadvertently under went a psychological experiment.  I endured 48 hours of electronic communication deprivation, barely.  As you may have read, I went for a little swim on Friday morning while fully clothed due to a canoeing accident.  (See I Finally Got Into Mr. Mynd's Pants for full details.)  As my time in the canoe was more of a rescue mission than a canoeing trip, I forgot to take my beloved flip phone and my camera out of my pockets before going into the canoe and into the drink. This precipitated the start of the experiment.

The first eight hours weren't that bad.  I was on a field trip with my class and had roughly sixty children and twenty adults to monitor, educate, and fish out of the river.  I was NOT the only one to go swimming in the creek that day!  By the end of the trip, three adults and two children had taken an unexpected polar bear plunge.  We should have done a plunge fundraiser for the folks at the Special Olympics, then at least our time in the water would have been for a worthy cause. 

I was so busy making sure everyone was with their chaperone, was at the correct station, etc. that I didn't really notice my lack of electronic stimulation.  I did have to ask a few parents what time it was as my cellphone had also been serving as my watch and there were no clocks down by the canoe docks.  But, other than not knowing when it was time to send the groups to their next station, I was unaffected.

I really need to think before I speak!
After we took the kids back to school and sent them all safely home with their parents, I headed out to happy hour with my dedicated teammates.  I took quite a lot of good-natured ribbing from my colleagues who hadn't been on the field trip and had a few laughs retelling the story to them.  A special highlight for me was when I thanked Mr. Mynd for the loan of his pants and without thinking said, "I can't believe I got into your pants!"  I was referring to the fact that Mr. Mynd is a beanpole and I am a curvy lady, so I was surprised that his pants had fit.  My slip of the tongue produced a tableful of laughter from my friends and some rosy-blushed cheeks for me.  No harm, no foul.  Once again, I was having such a good time that I didn't really notice my lack of phone.

However, when I left happy hour later that night I had some calls I needed to make and now I was starting to miss my phone.  Luckily, I am the kind of nerd who syncs her home phone address book to her cell phone address book, so all I had to do was wait until I got home to call.  This created a ten minute rain delay in my ability to communicate while I drove from the bar to my house.  Nothing too traumatic about that, just a minor annoyance.  I got home, made my calls, wrote a blog about falling out of the canoe, and went to bed.

The next morning, I got a call from my mother telling me that she had just taken her car to the dealer and they would be working on it all day.  Could I come and get her?  Um, I was supposed to be meeting Mrs. Mynd for our girls weekend road trip in an hour and a half and I hadn't packed.  If I didn't retrieve my mom quickly, I was going to be running late.  How would I be able to tell Mrs. Mynd of my delayed arrival time from the car?  I wouldn't, so I drove like the true leadfooted driver that I am and retrieved my mother in 45 minutes flat.  I sped the whole way there, but had to drive like a responsible adult with my mom in the car, otherwise it would have been 30 minutes.  I got home, threw clothing into my duffel bag willy-nilly, and raced out the door to meet Mrs. Mynd.

"She's coming into Gambon... and across the line!  That was properly quick."

Amazingly, I was early to meet Mrs. Mynd.  Mr. Mynd and Princess Sassy Pants dropped her off and we all had a quick breakfast before hitting the road.  As I was driving, my lack of phone again went unnoticed for the hour or so we were driving.  We arrived at Sister Mynd's house and got down to painting.  It only took us a few hours to paint the dining room and front hallway.  Mrs. Mynd and Sister Mynd's phones kept alerting them to incoming texts as we painted and I was getting phone withdrawl.  I wonder who's trying to text ME right now? 

We ran low on paint for the dining room and used the potential paint shortage as an excuse to stop for the day.  We got cleaned up, went to see a movie, had a celebratory birthday dinner for Sister Mynd, and got some more paint. Again, during dinner the sisters' phones were chirping to alert them to incoming texts and photos.  I really miss my phone!

We got back to the house, watched a movie on TV, and took some time for girl talk and wine.  Mrs. Mynd was playing around on her iPad and let me borrow it to check for comments on my canoeing blog.  I was enjoying the company, but not the lack electronics.  Will the bag of rice have fixed my phone by the time I get home?  God, I hope so!

By nine, we were off to The Pub and I was itching for my phone.  I'd had a fairly long day and tragically wasn't going to last at the bar.  Mrs. Mynd even let me hold her phone in an attempt to keep me entertained and at The Pub.  It wasn't the same.  I wanted MY phone!

In an epic fail, I left the bar early.  Between the previous day's swimming adventure, my early wake up call, and my upper body workout from painting, I was wiped out.  I hung my head in shame as I walked back to the house solo.  I had to get Sister Mynd's husband (who hadn't gone with us to the bar) to text the sisters and let them know I hadn't been killed by an ax murder during the three block walk home.  I was in serious phone withdrawl at this point.

The rest of the weekend was painting, breakfast shore style, and a harrowing visit to Mrs. Mynd's foot doctor.  Having a foot doctor on call is good.  Needles are bad.  Multiple needles are really bad.  Being poked full of holes and bleeding all over the place sucked rocks, for her and me.  Okay, probably more so for her since she was the one getting stuck, but we were both a little nauseous when the appointment was over. 

I couldn't wait to get home and take my phone out of the rice to see if my flip phone could be salvaged.  I got home, pulled the phone out of the rice, reassembled all its rice powdered parts, charged it up, was working again...for a few minutes, then it died again.  Disaster!  I drove over to the Mynd house and had Mr. Mynd hook me up with one of Shaggy's old phones.  It's a slide phone and I text at the speed of a snail on it, but at least I can text again.

Only three more months til I'm eligible for a phone upgrade!


  1. I put the flip phone back in the rice in the hopes it might yet be saved. Maybe it just wasn't done yet, right? Don't challenge my delusion, it's the only thing keeping me calm about losing the flip.

  2. Um isn't your phone from the '90s, why aren't you eligible for an upgrade? I say harness your "girl power" and flirt your way into an early upgrade. That's what the girls are for. ;)

    1. Have you seen the trolls that work at my local AT&T store? I don't think so! And the girls are only to be used for the greater good...maybe if it was more than three months til upgrade time :)

      And for your edification, the flip is only 21 months old. It's still a toddler.

    2. Did you really call and ask because at Verizon they will upgrade you early within that window if you have destroyed your phone. They like that you are purchasing new merchandise.

      And there is more than one store in the area so we could find someone to convince if we go together. I'm very popular with gadget geeks :)

  3. Time to upgrade... At least into a working phone.

    1. Shaggy's old phone doesn't hold a charge very well, but it works. I just can't text quickly on it. I miss T9 guessing what I wanted to say next. Sometimes, it even guessed correctly!

  4. Who knew there could be so much angst over electronics free weekends. Thanks for taking that experiment for the team so we now know to never duplicate your efforts.


  5. When I go on holidays or camping or whatever I always bring my phone for emergencies but I always leave it off and just check it for personal emergencies at night.

    It's part of the enjoyment of being away for me... unplugging from the world that phones now connect you to.