(The iphone bill that caused the father's heart condition)
(The deviant divas that caused my issues of jealousy)
It was the summer of ’07. My former husband and his wife had rented a villa in Tuscany for the month of July (I suffered major divorce regret this one particular summer…I can be so shallow).
My 4 children were being flown out for a week at the coveted villa. My daughters, Kellie and Cassie were traveling for a month. My sons were traveling for 3 weeks. Call me sexist. I wasn’t nervous about the boys. The girls…that was another story.
They were 22 and 19. Beautiful, blonde, petite and full of life. Translation: MONTH LONG PARTY IN EUROPE!!! WATCH OUT WORLD!
Before they left, the daughters were acting like Paris Hilton without the mini-purse dog. They were buying clothes left and right for their European extravaganza. I was in therapy for my obsessive-compulsive jealousy of my own children.
I started to worry. They were going to Spain, Amsterdam and Greece. They were going to Italy and France. They were going to “figure things out” as they went along. How was I going to keep in touch with them? How would I know that they were safe and not being sold into slavery?
I had breakfast with the ex shortly before the vacation. I expressed my concerns that our daughters were being spoiled rotten and that my ex might want to rein them in with all the spending, the spending that was costing him hundreds of dollars before they even stepped foot on the plane.
He assured me he was on top of things and no worries. This was it. This would be the last big hurrah.
He took them shopping the next day. They called me all excited, “MOM, DAD BOUGHT US EACH iPHONES!!!!!”
Now, the I-phone had just come out. I had secretly been lusting after them, being an Apple addict and all. I turned green immediately and began in-patient treatment.
I reminded my daughters that they were in danger of being recruited into one of those reality TV shows that follows entitled and clueless teenagers around with a camera. They laughed me off, “Oh Mom, don’t worry about us. We SOOOOOOO appreciate everything Dad is doing for us.”
Off they went for their trip of a lifetime. I loved the daily phone calls from them, the pictures they sent, the updates…the information I needed to know they were still breathing.
A month later, I picked them up at the airport. They were excited to be home but running over each with stories about their various adventures and mishaps during the trip (this included being “mouth raped” by men in Greece and Cassie accidentally putting pepper spray on her lips one drunken night).
Once home, I casually brought up a recent news story about a girl who had wracked up a $3000 I-phone bill on her month long trip to Europe. I gently suggested that they might want to check their I-phone bill to see what the damage was.
“Mom, you’re such a worry wart! Gawd...no way is it even close to $3000.00. Maybe, maybe $500, but $500 tops. We hardly used our I-phones at all.”
I wasn’t convinced.
“Kellie, just get on-line and check your bill”. I wanted to make sure their dad wasn’t about to suffer any imminent heart attacks. She complied and confidently got on-line with a smug “this is soooooooo unnecessary look on her face”.
I was talking to Cassie when all of the sudden we heard Kellie start to hyperventilate. When we asked her what was wrong, she couldn’t talk. Kellie COULD NOT TALK, a non-sound I haven’t heard since right before her birth.
After what seemed like an eternity, she stammered, in between the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation I had to do, complete with intermittent thumps on the chest, “Well, our combined iPhone bill is:
Let me repeat that:
EIGHT THOUSAND, SEVENTY-SIX DOLLARS AND NINETY-TWO CENTS!
The phones were in their dad’s name. My divorce regret disappeared immediately.
*Note: Kellie, now 23, is on a 3-month trip to Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. While it is true I’m back in therapy for issues of envy, there is a bright spot. She left her iphone in the airport bathroom in Tokyo at the beginning of the trip. Her father is no longer on heart medication.