Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Charged Discussions

I just got back from Best Buy.

No, I didn’t drive all the way over to the black hole called ‘the mall’ to see the new technology in televisions or research the surround sound system my son is begging for, I schlepped my way across the wide asphalt parking lot to buy (drum roll please…) a cell phone charger.

I’m a bit perturbed by this task because it seems to be stuck in a revolving spot on my to-do list.

Here are the facts - four months ago my family hit the jackpot, when our family plan came up for renewal in the exact 18 hour window of time that the Samsung Vibrant smart phone was being offered for ‘free’, with renewal. We jumped on the deal and, within the week, had five new smart phones in our possession.

We were all tickled to death, since we generally hang out in the phone quality category that hovers just above the burner phone. Need I remind you that with four kids, we use up all our extra lines and buy a plan on top of that? Smart phones just aren’t generally in the budget.

Of course we all fell in love with our new babies and have been happily texting each other like crazy. The point of this story is that with those five phones came five cell phone chargers. Handy little guys that charged in the wall socket, car, or USB port. For a short period of time we were all content and happy in our smart phone bubble.

Then things turned vicious. Someone misplaced their charger. Rumors swirled about who could be the guilty party. Surely someone stole it. There was no way it was merely forgotten, at school or on a weekend trip to Grandma’s house. Everyone became possessive with their remaining chargers. I had compassion and loaned mine out, but with warnings as dire as those I dish out for infractions like drinking and driving or bringing down a basket of dirty laundry on Sunday night.

The words ‘buy cell phone charger’ went on my list. And it never went away. Every time I bought another one, someone else’s would disappear.

I wondered if, somewhere in the attic or behind the sheetrock of our house, there were dozens of mismatched socks throwing parties with the handful of cell phone chargers that seemed to disappear with as much regularity. I decided to label one as my own. That way I could possibly track a thief, if our household indeed was harboring one.

With a big fat sharpie, I wrote “MOM”. When turned upside down, it read WOW, meaning “Wow….there’s actually a charger here for me to use!”

Then came our long drive out to Colorado. Hotels seem to be the worst place for cell phone chargers. I’d guess that all the discount replacement chargers on Amazon are really the stockpile collected by hotel room maids. Either that, or the outlets in hotel rooms suck it up as you’re sleeping, prompting you to walk out the door in the morning, in possession of one less charger.

Either way, we ended up in Colorado with, you guessed it, one less charger. So this mom got put on the plane back to New York without one. No way to charge my phone, no way to get the 179 fabulous trip pictures off of it.

So today I did my weekly trek to Best Buy. And I now own another charger. It already says WOW (I mean MOM) on the side. I’m the only one living in our house right now, as we wait for it to sell. I’m wondering if this will be the true test.

If I can go a full month using the same charger, every day, and still know where it is at the end of September, I might have to call it a miracle.

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