Last week, disaster struck: I destroyed my cell phone trying to vote for Alexis Grace in the bathtub.
Alexis Grace, in case you don't know, is the American Idol candidate who blew away the judges with her performance of Never Loved a Man. And if I was going to sacrifice my Razr for anyone, I'm glad it was her.
Oh well, I thought. Poor me. I guess I'll have to get an iPhone.
As a writer of a tech blog, I probably shouldn't admit that I don't have a smartphone. But here's the thing: I'm a klutz. My first two cell phones each lasted less than a year, and they did not die natural deaths; one, I'm sorry to say, drowned in a toilet. Every two weeks or so, I drop my Razr so hard that the battery pops out; it's a miracle that I've had it for two years. When I buy a new computer, I always get the $300 warranty covering accidental damage, because there is a really good chance I will need it. And don't even think about letting me near your wine glasses.
But there is one force more powerful than my klutziness, and his name is Steve Jobs. To put it simply: the iPhone is awesome. And a few weeks ago, I decided it would soon be time to take the plunge. "You're all grown up," I told myself. "It's time for you to stop dropping your phones down the subway stairs." Still, I left myself a little breathing room, a little time to prepare. I knew my current cell phone contract would run out in May, and heard rumors of a new iPhone being released in June. By summer, I decided, an iPhone would be mine.
Then a few drops of water fell on my Razr, and I was faced with a sudden change of plans.
I thought I could get out of my contract for maybe $20, because a few months ago, an employee of my current carrier told me that my early termination fee would be prorated. Then all I had to do was switch my number to AT&T, pay $199 ... and voila.
Was I ready? I took a deep breath, and decided I could handle it. I told everyone I know: "I'm getting an iPhone this weekend!" I almost felt like I should paint a special room for the iPhone and buy it an outfit with feeties.
Good thing I didn't. As it turns out, my carrier didn't start prorating termination fees in contracts until after I signed mine. When I went to a store to find out exactly what my fee would be, I learned that it would be $200.
On a hunch, I reached into my bag and pulled out my Razr, which had been off for two days. I pressed the power button, and it turned on. I called my husband, and the call went through.
I was torn between devastation and relief.
"That's great news," my husband said, when I told him my cell phone was working again.
But was it?