Friday, September 17, 2010

In loving memory

I have recently suffered a loss in the family; I don’t know if I can technically call it a being, but I do tend to “bond” with my material possessions to such an extent that they almost seem to have a soul. I know there’s a term for this (other than “insanity”). Ah yes, anthropomorphism. What did people do before Google? Seriously?

So the family member in question is my late Samsung E840 Candy Pink telephone, which I purchased back in the foggy, innocent days of spring 2008. At the time, I was looking to change mobiles and fell in love with the sleek lines and sexy color of this little slider. The fact that it was quite similar to G.’s own maroon version added a certain extra touch of “buy me” seductiveness. So I bought it.

Having tested multiple phone brands in the past, trial and error had proven Nokia to be the most worthy of living in my purse. Nevertheless, I took a chance on this Samsung because, well, it was so preeeeetty. Sadly, what it boasted in physical beauty it sorely lacked in inner depth. For one, it offered but a shadow of the gadgety personalization options I’d come to so appreciate from Nokia, and two, its texting configuration was an absolute disaster. It steadfastly refused to be taught any new words, and for my franglais texting needs, this was unacceptable. But it had a nice built-in camera and worked just fine as an actual phone, so in the end I figured it could stay.

For years, the two of us built up a certain complicity: Katrin and her fuchsia phone! Despite our rocky beginnings, we came to become all but inseparable. The phone’s memory stored my friends’ numbers and G.’s loving text messages; the calculator function made dividing up the tab after group dinners a breeze; the camera function had my back whenever my real camera ran out of power; the alarm function gently woke me every morning with the song “Paul Simon” by the Russian Futurists. On a side note, I would have preferred a song called “Russian Futurists” by Paul Simon, but whaddya do?

So life was bliss … until, on a Friday night just a few weeks ago, G. proposed that we see the movie “Inception” at the UGC cinema near Opéra. We settled into our seats and as usual, I put my purse by my feet. Now, I’ve always had a little voice in my head that has whispered, “Watch out, someone behind you could just reach under your chair and nab that purse right out from under it!” but I have always brushed off said voice because hey, what kind of an evil person would do THAT?

I’ll tell you what kind. The kind that slips into a theater at 11:00 pm and pretends to watch the movie when really, they just want to take your stuff. So the long and the short of it is this: some punk kids behind us managed to get their greasy little hands into my purse and steal my cell phone right out of it without my noticing a thing until they were long gone. I know this because when we called the number later on—you know, just to be sure—they answered. Morons. I’m lucky they didn’t take my whole damn purse, but that’s beside the point.

I’ve had run-ins with the Dark Side of Paris before, and each time I’ve come away thinking that the city loves me a little less, which is truly sad. It’s an awful feeling knowing that some ne’er-do-well has a cherished belonging that only minutes before was sitting safely in your care, even when it’s something as insignificant as a phone. I liked this little phone of mine, all the more so for the years of saved texts from G., virtual messages having long replaced the written love letter among us Gen Y-ers.

But let’s put this into perspective: it’s not the end of the world. I suppose I should take it as a lesson on the need for greater general awareness, or even as an opportunity for spiritual growth! Are we not supposed to store up our treasures in heaven, where thieves cannot break in and steal? Well, yeah, but … I’m an incorrigible materialist! It’s MY phone and as such, should be in MY hot little hands and no one else’s! Grrrrrrr.

However, time heals all wounds, and one week of mourning was really all I could give. Try as I might, I simply cannot lead a balanced existence without a phone/alarm/camera/converter/calculator. So I HAD to go out and get a replacement. Not considering myself to be “cool” enough for an iPhone (yet), I settled on the next best thing: a smart phone—by Nokia—which even pays homage to my departed Samsung with a nice fuchsia exterior. So everyone’s happy: my service provider, for coercing me into another 24-month contract in exchange for the phone; G., for once again being able to reach me during the day; and of course myself, for having what is quite frankly an awesome piece of technology AND just so happens to be beautiful on the outside as well as on the inside. But if you think I’m letting it out of my sight for more than 2 seconds, think again! No you can’t hold it! It’s mine, I tell you, miiiiiiiiiine!

R.I.P. - May 15, 2008 - September 4, 2010

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