Of course I bought an iPhone. I have been waiting forever, from the time the rumors began to swirl about an Apple/Verizon partnership. For years I have carried both an iPod and a cell phone which is not exactly apocalyptic, but also not exactly convenient. There is only one dedicated spot for a rectangular electronic gizmo in my purse, in my car, and in my pocket. I tried Pandora on the phone instead of an iPod, but it’s not possible to get the precise play list required by certain moods using Pandora. I can get a decent Bad Day soundtrack on Pandora if I make a station based on The Smiths + The Magnetic Fields, but it’s not as perfectly tear-jerking as my own, private label collection. An iPhone, in addition to being preternaturally beautiful, lets me carry one device with my music, my calendar, and my favorite apps. As an added benefit I am able to use it to make and receive phone calls.
Monday morning, death came to the pink Blackberry Curve. Although our relationship had been strained for some time, I get ridiculously attached to objects that I use frequently, and I considered appropriate and sensitive farewells. My pink Razr, the first phone I loved, was given away when I upgraded. I was still half in love with its sleekness, and the ease with which it slid into the tightest spaces. The orange enV which I loved with all my heart died a terrible, watery death. It was my constant companion during my stint as Media Liaison for a Congressional campaign, its ring tone was Ethel Merman belting " Anything I Can Do, You Can Do Better” and, along with dress-up clothes, heels and a laptop bag, it made me feel like I was a character on “West Wing.” It should have had a proper burial, that phone, but instead of floating out on the Ganges beneath a blazing pile of flowers, it fell into the (clean) toilet and drowned. It breathed its last in a bowl of rice near a heat vent, and was replaced by the pink Blackberry.
The Blackberry was efficient, and cute, and I loved the aesthetics of the keyboard and the fact that it fit perfectly in my palm. It did not, however, work with my iTunes library. The screen was very small for my aging eyes, and I could never see a website the way it was meant to look. Reading comments on an Open Salon post required me to roll the ball endlessly to get to the bottom of the page, as many as 200 times for a popular piece. When I became eligible for an upgrade I waited, willing the rumors to be true, visiting the Verizon store to meet the Android phones and feeling attraction, admiration, but no coup de foudre. I had already felt that the first time I saw an iPhone, and there was no other phone for me.
So I pre-ordered an iPhone, not at 3:00AM, but pretty darned close. It arrived Monday in its Appliciously pristine white box, solid and with just the right kind of heft, ready to make my life complete. We are all synced, the two of us, although it would be nice if Comcast e-mail could actually be made to cooperate. My selected play lists are there, my calendar, my recipe file, my contacts, my Kindle, and everything else I would need to live on a desert island that had electricity. If I learned to fish. I love to touch it, to push the button and watch the icons jump into place like the June Taylor dancers. I am totally, totally in love.
The pink Blackberry, still in good shape except for some wear around the ball, has been consigned to the junk drawer in the kitchen. Tuesday morning its alarm went off at 7:00AM, a forlorn bell sounding from beneath a half-empty seed packet, an extension cord, and a partly melted birthday candle. By yesterday it was silent, its battery drained. I have no one to give it to, at the moment, and I can’t bear the idea of putting it in an envelope and sending it away for cash. It will stay in the drawer, maybe come out to live briefly as Backup Phone when my son goes somewhere where his Droid X might be at risk, or get donated to an organization providing phones to domestic violence victims. It might also remain in the drawer for years, being shoved aside in a frantic search for the last AA battery or a roll of masking tape. That seems like a bad end for a trusted companion, pushed aside like a first wife and left to die in a drawer beneath the microwave.
It’s just a thing, and not an heirloom brooch, a wedding ring or a dried lotus from Thailand. There are no cedar chests for old phones, no beribboned scrapbooks, no stark modern shadow boxes…they are just metal and plastic and memories. Goodnight, sweet phone. My iPhone is vibrating.