Let me set the scene briefly.
There is nothing like the attachment we have to our smartphones. We can forget how important our one-touch lovers are to our lives, our business, and our emotions. In one minuscule, seemingly insignificant moment in the cosmos, we can lose that which binds together the fabric of our entire beings. This happened to me very recently, to a degree which I hadn’t experienced before.
It had been an extremely busy day, and I had already planned to treat myself by having my most guilty pleasure for dinner that night: Pesto Cavatappi with Parmesan Chicken from Noodles & Company.
I recently moved to a new part of the city, and was unfamiliar with the area, so I navigated my way to the restaurant nearest to my apartment with Google Maps, and lay my phone in my lap as I parallel-parked a block away. In a rush to grab my food, I stepped out of my vehicle with my eyes on the prize. To the register I went. I order, ask for “to go”, give my name, and sit down in the waiting area. I reach for my phone for the usual reasons, to make believe that I am doing something important while just playing Clash of Clans, or Candy Crush (Yes. Candy Crush). I reach into my purse, and…
We all know that feeling. An electric shock of panic spikes through my fingertips and I think… “No, it’s ok, it’s just on the seat of the car.” A thin veil of calm washes over me like a wave of sedentary gas just waiting for the catalyst spark.
I obtain my nourishment in the form of swirly carbs and head back to my car, on a mission. First, I open the driver side door and take a glance. Nothing. Then I check outside of the car, thinking it may have fallen out of my lap onto the ground, in my rush to get to Noodles. I begin tearing through my relatively clean car, throwing things aside that are very obviously not hiding my beloved mobile device. Once I obsessively comb my vehicle and the surrounding area nearly eight times, I give up. I am officially panicking.
Side note: I have ZERO sense of direction. I use my phone’s GPS to get nearly everywhere, and it hadn’t occurred to me until this very moment that I might not even be able to get home.
I get in my car and take a deep breath, trying to steady my confused mind. I turn the key, and merge out onto the street looking for things that I recognize that might help me find my way home. Luckily, by some grace of whatever witchcraft that was about me that night, I made it home safely. Immediately, I pull up my iPhone’s location on my iPad, and after a little hiccup wherein the app tells me that all of my devices are offline, I find a little solace in the little blue dot that indicates my precious. A little blue, moving, dot. Heading away from my home. This is where my savage brain jumps to the most severe of conclusions- It’s been stolen. *INSERT SILENT SCREAMS* My finger is hovering over the “Erase my iPhone” button, as I quietly go through all seven stages of grief in a matter of milliseconds. Here is where our play begins:
Enter: Roommate Katie
Roommate Katie: Hey, you got Noodles!
Tessa: I think my phone was stolen.
Tessa shows Roommate Katie said moving blue dot. Roommate Katie gasps with an appropriate amount of sympathy for her friend, knowing this problem can be easily solved.
Roommate Katie: Do you want me to call…
Tessa: YES! Please. Thank you.
Roommate Katie finds her own phone, dials Tessa’s number, and waits…
Roommate Katie: Hello?
Male Voice: Hello.
Roommate Katie: I am looking for my friend’s phone.
Male Voice: Yeah…?
Roommate Katie: Do you have it?
Male Voice:… Uh… I am talking on it, aren’t I?
Roommate Katie: (with a nervous giggle) Oh… Yeah. Well, can we come and get it?
Male Voice: Yeah, we’re uh… We’ll meet you at the “SA” on University.
Tessa feels lost in her automobile, without even a podcast to listen to on the journey.
They pull into the parking lot, which is empty, except for a suspicious looking, and colorfully-clothed couple riding bicycles. They are carrying what looked to be everything they owned with them in bags and knapsacks.
Tessa and Roommate Katie exit the vehicle, and tentatively approach the wiry, greater-than-middle-aged but less-than-geriatric bicycle enthusiasts.
Wiry Woman: Are you Tessa?
Tessa: Yes! You have my phone?
Wiry Woman points to the phone and Tessa, forgetting any etiquette she may have learned in the past, goes straight into the woman’s purse and snatches her phone up.
Tessa: Thank you! Thank you so much!
Mirthless Man (played by the same actor as Male Voice): (With the sternness of a father that apparently has some sort of financial and emotional stake in the device.) You really should be more careful, young lady. That could have been smashed by a car, or stolen.
Tessa: I know, thank you so much for rescuing it.
Wiry Woman: (Cackling) Yeah, honey.. I know what you mean. I feel absolutely LOST without MY phone.
Tessa: (sighs in giddy relief) Anyhoo, thank you so much for finding it and staying here so we could come pick it up. I really appreciate it. Have a wonderful night!
Throughout the last exchange, the Mirthless Man maintains his disappointed gaze and Roommate Katie realizes that she is still in her pajamas. Afterwards, Tessa and Roommate Katie edge their way back towards the car, Tessa’s eyes FIXED on her phone, inspecting it for damage or corruption of any sort, thinking to herself, “THIS is why I leave the annoying and extremely obvious passcode on my phone.”
Roommate Katie: They had no teeth. Like… at all.
Tessa: I know… but they had my phone!
My life resumed as I knew it. I had sworn to myself that I would never be one of “those” people. You know, the ones that take their pocket computer for granted. The people who misplace it every weekend, and inconvenience others by either being unreachable, or soliciting help from unsuspecting but well-intended companions. Either way, I know that I learned something that day:
“Not all people have teeth.”
– Roommate Katie