Waste not, want not. Now there is a sentiment a person can take to heart.
People who cling to that fine phrase just a little bit too closely end up on a reality show about hoarders. These poor unfortunates live in squalor amongst vermin and filth, existing in narrow corridors of their own vice. As dreadful as that sounds, it could be worse. They could be on a reality show about Kardashians who cling just a little too closely to whatever it is those wackadoodles cling to. Mostly each other, I think.
Somewhere between those two extremes are folks who try to find the middle ground between the pathologic inability to let go and wackadoodle-ism. Like me. Being frugal was bred into me just as surely as brown hair and blue eyes. Our household consisted of one father who walked four miles through the snow barefoot to school uphill each way and a mother who made all our clothes. Doors were not left ajar and lights were not left burning in unoccupied rooms. Food was not wasted because there were children starving in China. Back then, the activity known as toilet papering had reached something of epidemic proportions. Unlike our neighbors, our dad was thrilled when we got toilet-papered. He made us kids go out and collect it, dry it, and put it in grocery sacks in the bathroom to be utilized for its original purpose. That, my friends, is frugal.
So it will not seem unusual that I, in my admittedly limited technologic experience, have owned a grand total of three cell phones. The first one I inherited from my seventy year old mother when it became too out-dated for her. It had a nifty pull-up antenna that allowed me to make calls to people who were up to seven miles away. That phone lasted me until 2002 at which point I bought a phone on which I could text (!), take pictures (!), store phone numbers (!), and make calls to people who were up to seven miles away. Unfortunately, I did not know how to text nor how to snap a photo. The instruction book was 26 pages long, 25 of which dealt with how to buy airtime. One day I did figure out how to take a picture but by that time the battery was dead. The battery dying was the main feature of this phone.
Fast forward to 2015. A thirteen year old phone with a chronically dead battery is not as useful as you might think so I bought a new one. I paid $8 so of course I had high hopes for it. Feeling as though I was on the cutting edge of really far-fetched wireless advances, I asked the sales person if there was any way to transfer my massive list of phone numbers from my old phone to my new phone.
She didn’t come right out and say “Duh!” but you could tell she was thinking it. It appears I did not, personally myself, come up with the idea of having a device that could transfer data to another device. Did I, the sales person asked hopefully, speaking slowly and enunciating carefully with an encouraging smile on her face (you know, like you talk to three year olds) have Blue Tooth on my old phone? So I told the truth. “I don’t know,” I replied as technically as I knew how.
Being ignorant of whether your own personal phone has Blue Tooth was obviously a notion completely foreign to this person. Still speaking slowly, she told me how to find out and then walked me through the steps to make my old phone interact with my new phone because I hadn’t been smart enough to bring my old phone with me. It was at home with a dead battery.
You will not be surprised to learn when I attempted to transfer my contact list, one or both of my phones (who knows?) refused to cooperate. I called the store back and asked the clerk who was there how to work that old Blue Tooth magic. She told me she was not a “verbal person,” she was a “visual person” and thus would be unable to convey via words how to accomplish what was beginning to look like an impossible task.
Obviously the Fates were trying to tell me something. They were trying to tell me to skip all the high-tech stuff and stick to very basic endeavors that do not require higher thinking. Like picking up and drying out toilet paper.
Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for the Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call.