How I survived an outing minus my cell phone

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

Half-way to our destination I reached for my cellphone. It usually is inside a case clipped to my belt on the right-hand side. But this time, there was no case, no phone.

I left my phone at the house, I told my wife, Sharon. Should we turn back and get it? That was not going to happen. Let’s go on and have a good time. Forget the phone.

What did we do before cell phones (B.C.), anyway? We didn’t need to stay in touch all the time when we just had landlines. We went on trips and didn’t worry about texting, messaging, or checking emails and Facebook (because they had not been invented).

We didn’t take vacation photos and post them instantly. We took them with a camera and then had the film developed when we returned. That took a long time. How did we stand it?

Sharon had her phone, so should something happen, we could still communicate. It was not like we were completely in cellular darkness.

But I was going to check up on a storm’s trajectory. Danny had been churning out there in the Atlantic for days, trying to decide where to go and how strong to become. Now I would have to wait until we got home. And, there was another storm right behind it that I was tracking.

Like the storms were going to go nuts during the few hours that I was without a cell phone, right? I needed to just forget about messing with the cell phone and just have a good time.

After all, until about a dozen or so years ago, many people didn’t even carry with them a cell phone. And, there was a time when we called from landlines, and some of us had pagers that alerted us to calls. But we could not respond to them instantly, because we were away from our phones.

One friend a long time ago drove around with a pager and a cellphone. I guess he was transitioning. I asked him why he just didn’t have people call his cell phone rather than a landline that alerted his pager.

That way he would not have to call back the number on his pager. “That’s a good idea,” he said. Progress is hard sometimes.

What’s even harder is leaving progress at home.

I can’t remember the last time I went somewhere without a cell phone. I don’t think anyone does anymore.

It took a little getting used to, not having a cellphone with me. I finally borrowed Sharon’s phone to check up on the Astros game in the 9th inning. They were losing. No biggie. They have been winning a lot. It’s just one game.

At the restaurant, I didn’t check my email while waiting for the food, nor when I waited in the movie line. What a nice, relaxing Sunday afternoon outing, I told Sharon. I’m glad now that I left my phone at home - maybe.

Then I rewarded myself again. I borrowed Sharon’s phone again and checked the Astros score. They won it in the 10th. When I got home, I checked on the noodles also. They were still all over the place.

Afternoon outing: priceless; Meal: delicious; Movie: interesting; Leaving phone home: tolerated.