Jay Lenkersdorfer

None of us would consider leaving the house without being fully dressed, it’s just something burned into our brains from an early age. We usually dress for the weather as well, not wanting to freeze while doing errands or burn up with long sleeves on a hot summer day. Clothes just make sense but there are other things that we often value as being more important than anything else.

This past week I worked late and was in somewhat of a hurry to get home before dark. Since men don’t have purses we fill our pockets with everything we think we will need while away from home that day. My tradition at the end of a day is to empty my pockets on the counter and there the items stay until I’m headed out the door the next morning. Of course, this irritates my wife when I junk up her counters, so I am learning to empty my pockets in my bedroom where it won’t clutter things up.

The things I consider critical, and thus not something I want to leave behind, are my car keys, wallet, Chapstick, Mentos mints, reading glasses, a pen and a few index cards to make notes on, and my cell phone. Of all those things, only one is severe enough to warrant returning home to retrieve. Yes, you guessed it, my cell phone.

One quandary I had last week is that while emptying my pockets I realized that my cell phone was not in my pocket. The panic that comes over us when we realize we don’t have our cell phone is far worse than those dreams where you are back in high school and you are walking around the school naked. Yes, this is a dream I used to have all the time and it is just as traumatic as it sounds.

Standing in my room realizing my phone was not in my possession led me to go back to my day’s activities and see if I could remember where I last had it. I re-checked each pocket, my coat and even checked in my truck to see if I had left it there but all those activities ended without finding the phone. I was reasonably sure that I had plugged the phone into a charging cord in my office instead of setting it down next to my truck keys and that is why it didn’t get put back in my pocket as I was leaving work.

My wife, seeing that I was concerned, offered to call my phone but there was no sound coming from anywhere within our house, cementing the location of the phone to my office, or so I hoped. I am blessed to live close to where I work so it wasn’t that big of a deal to drive back to the Weekly Mailer offices, but I decided to use the inconvenience to test my true dependency to that stupid device.

Though I wasn’t positive that the phone was there, I was about 95 percent sure it was safe sitting on my desk at work, so I made the choice to ignore the fact that it wasn’t in my possession and simply go without it for the evening. The next morning, I found my phone right where I had left it – on my desk at work. I had passed the test and frankly I didn’t worry about it at all.

If my phone is in my possession it is turned on, even during the night while I sleep. Though rare, having a working phone that someone could call should there be an emergency with one of our children, grandchildren, friends or a problem at the office is reason enough to at least have it set on vibrate while I am sleeping. Our children do not follow this same pattern and it annoys me to no end. Their phones are off at night and they make no apologies for it. They simply don’t want to be bothered so if there is bad news they are fine getting it the next day.

Modern technology fits perfectly into our cell phones. In reality, if you have a phone you have a compact computer at your disposal 24 hours a day. A phone is a camera, an adding machine, a photo album, a day planner, an alarm clock, an address book, a radio, a digital music device, a book, a security camera, a weather station, a miniature photo studio, a game boy, a flashlight, a measuring device, a police scanner, and probably a thousand other things, depending on which apps you have installed.

I suppose after considering all those things, it is quite important to have in your possession after all. Do you know where your phone is?

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