Ettie Newlands

Waiting to see if this cell phone thing “was really going to catch on,” my husband had a flip phone until very recently.

Whenever he saw me on my iPhone, he’d ask, “Who called?” When I told him nobody called, he’d ask why I was “fooling around” with my phone if nobody called.

I tried, unsuccessfully, to explain.

I told him about getting the news on the phone, and about email. I told him he could check the weather wherever we were or were going. I told him he could check his stocks and told him he could play fun games.

He could get the answer to any question immediately.

The phone’s a dictionary, an encyclopedia, an old friend finder, an all-in-one all-purpose everything-ness.

“Feh,” he told me. “Phones are for phone calls.”

He’s never been a fan of texting, and he thinks people should take pictures with cameras and look for driving directions on atlases.

If he wanted to know what time it was, he’d look at his watch.

A phone is to make and get phone calls, period.

Eventually, his trusty flip phone finally wore out.

Any woman whose been married more than 20 minutes knows what happened next.

I’d been telling him about smart phones for years to no avail. The woman at the phone company told him the same things one time and he agreed to give it a try.

And now?

First thing every morning, mid-coffee, when I say in my most sarcastic tone, “Who called?” he tells me he’s “just looking at the stock market. Or the weather. Or how far it is to someplace he needs to go.”

With that in mind, I asked him if he’d like to learn how to use a computer.

“Why do I need a computer when I have this phone?” he asked.

He’s got a point.

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