“This isn’t happening to me.”
I moaned as, I sat down at our breakfast table and took deep breaths to calm myself. If I hadn’t become so upset, I might have been able to put everything in perspective. I might even have had a good laugh at the irony of my situation. It was Monday morning and only the day before our scripture reading and sermon had been about the shepherd who left the ninety-nine to search for his one lost lamb and the woman who spent the day searching for a lost coin. If I had paused to think, I might have taken comfort in the thought people have been losing things for centuries. By now it was already nine am, school traffic on the road outside had abated, and the sun poured in through our east facing windows highlighting dust particles in the air and throwing patterns of promised heat on our polished hickory floor. I could have enjoyed this quiet moment of life, but instead here I was ignoring its promise and agonizing over the loss of a phone. Or was I worried more about the fact that I had been stupid enough to lose this essential modern-day communications tool, rather than by its loss. I think that it was the former which concerned me most. I thought that finding might enable me to recall how I had lost it.
My husband and I had looked everywhere: in the car; under the car seats; in my bedside table; in the folds of my favorite chair; in any of my purses; in my side table; in the bathroom; by my desk; the list went on. My husband called me on his phone and we ran around the house and garage like wild cats hoping to hear the phone’s faithful ring – no luck! All this commotion, I thought, about a phone which in my youth was firmly attached to a wall in the house. I vainly tried to remember when I had last seen or used it and had no luck in this endeavor. To distract myself I picked up my I-pad and clicked on the utility “Find Phone”. A few seconds later the I-Pad found itself which was distracting, and then, a few more seconds, and eureka it found my phone.
To my surprise and chagrin, it located my lost phone in Buda some fifteen miles away. I was glad to have it located it but didn’t consider it found. I mean, really, in Buda fifteen miles away and still with power enough to be locatable. My husband called it yet again. It didn’t answer but a few seconds later it called back! My husband picked up but the line went dead. Now I became more stressed for the call indicated that someone in Buda had my phone. I wondered if this person could have discovered my password to unlock and use it. Unlocked, that smart phone is more than a fancy phone with a camera built-in. It holds ALL my contact information and a lot of happy software. My husband speculated that the new holder of that phone could probably access everything we own. Due to my husband’s meticulous care about data, the phone had archived itself to the cloud a couple of days earlier. We visited the archive, and using the data, changed relevant account access codes. I began to believe myself lucky as it didn’t appear that any personal information had been compromised.
I still hadn’t a clue how that phone got itself to Buda; but now I cared less. If it had been stolen I couldn’t pin-point where or when and decided that reporting something this trivial to the police would be merely an annoyance to them. I rationalized that phone was old and Apple now has newer, better ones available. Every time that we go to Barton Creek Mall I take time to gaze at the unique Apple store. It flows invitingly into the Mall with a pair of enormous floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors slid perfectly behind two additional like panes which complete the store’s security barrier at night. A single hanging illuminated medallion of a white apple with a missing bite identifies the store. Inside, rows of phones, I-pads and other items for sale are displayed, uncluttered, on simple wood tables. At the very back a huge screen provides color and light in ever changing images. There are no checkout counters no drawers of goods only a sea of people made up of customers and Apple assistants wearing simple black tops. It is a perfection of understated elegance and retail design ingenuity. We go to Barton Creek Mall and as I enter the dream-like store I feel gladness that,
“This is happening to me.”
Our sales assistant takes no time in confirming my lost phone’s location in Buda. He asks if I’d like to have it disabled and wiped clean. I already have my cloud back-up so I signal an OK. I am amazed that this can be done remotely. While the deed is being done I erase it from my memory. It is gone. Our sales assistant, a charming young man, young enough to be my grandson, flicks back his thick locks of black curls, smiles and gently escorts us to a display of iPhones. After a detailed discussion about their relative merits, features, and costs we select a model. I am so mesmerized by the luxury of this experience and beauty of design that I am able to accept the high cost. I remind myself that I am not merely purchasing a phone, I am getting a phone, a three lensed sophisticated camera, a game machine, a reading library, a window to the world, and more all in a small flat rectangle that I can slip into my pocket. We progress further into the store, closer to that gorgeous rear screen. I select phone case and screen protector. I barely notice their costs which seem slight in comparison to what they are to protect.
On the move again, this time to a simple wood table close to an array of wooden boxes acting as seats for those who may wish to watch the mesmerizing rear screen. I surrender my credit card, sign an invoice on our associate’s screen, agree to e-mail confirmation and am presented with three boxes which have materialized out of nowhere. Our sales associate gently removes the thin plastic wrapping from the larger elegant box. He thrusts the removed paper into his jeans pocket as there are no waste baskets or trash cluttering the pristine floor. He pushes the box toward me, and says,
“Open your new iPhone.”
It is better than Christmas. I fondle the white box, it is so smooth, so clean. I admire how the front image of part of a globe with swirling colors isn’t printed on the box but set into it. The lid slips gently off. Inside I pull a white tab and draw this treasured object into my hands. I stroke it and hand it over to our sales associate. He works lovingly as he downloads the contents of my old phone onto this new gem. He applies the screen cover and puts the phone into its case. We bid goodbye and exit with new iPhone and white sack containing the boxes, including the phone’s box containing ear phones and recharger nestled into their own custom white fitted compartments. I shall treasure this box almost as dearly as my new iPhone.
“Yes, this did happen to me.”