Dear friends and family,
I’ve adopted the payphone in the sidewalk outside my house as my new cell phone. I realize “cell” implies some sort of portability, which it’s not because I can’t tear it out of the cement (I tried), but I’m calling it my cell phone because it’s the only phone I use.
To many, the transition from having a “fashionable cell phone” to “I can only be reached by payphone” is strange, but I see it this way: cell phones are a commodity. You all have one. Your grammys have one. The guy at the library who looks like he can’t afford one even has one. EVERY ONE OF THESE FASHIONABLE PHONES WILL BE FASHIONABLY OBSOLETE IN A FEW HOURS. I want the thing that no one else wants, because if history has taught us anything – just like it has for music, hats and body hair – eventually that’s what everyone will want.
The economics of ditching my cell phone for a payphone check out. Sure, I do a little less laundry because there are a little less quarters around, but I’m also smarter about who I call. I mean, some days I don’t call anyone, or talk to anyone, or even leave the house. It’s like, a payphone has finally allowed me to take MY time back into MY control.
With all the money I’ve saved on not having a cell phone, I’ve invested into myself via personalizing the payphone booth. I’m still into making fashion statements, just not interested in doing so with a cell phone. Payphone fashion is sort of where I’m at in my life. Here’s what I’m working with:
Coating of black paint covering the “How To Use This Payphone” instructions. (I know how.)
- TI-2000 calculator taped inside booth for easy number crunching if/when necessary. (Nerd alert.)
- Notepad for when someone asks me to text them. (I write it down and mail it. Patience!)
- Moisture-absorbing cover over the receiver. (Sounds fancy, but it’s just a dish towel.)
- Post-it note on the change door that says “no change here!” (Just for chuckles.)
- A single purple ribbon wrapped around the metal chord. (No specific use, just festive.)
- Anti-bacterial wipes to sterilize the payphone in case some AHEM MY ASSHOLE NEIGHBOR CASEY uses the payphone when I’m not there. (GET YOUR OWN, CASEY!)
My new lifestyle choice of only using a payphone has been liberating. I used to live for the iPhones and Androids – now I live for the opportunities that a single quarter inserted into a payphone can bring. I used to be an active participant on cell phone fan boards and “consumer rumor” forums, but not anymore. Now I just go to these sites, write “LEAKED STOLEN IPHONE 8 PICS,” and post a picture of my payphone booth.
Cell phones have become a fashion statement. This “statement” is much easier to make when you change the kind of device you’re rolling with rather than just messing with upgrades, fupgrades, wackgrades, cases, handles, apps, grips, dips, accessories, software, hardware, firmware, lameware ad infinitum. I didn’t want to buy new things I couldn’t afford just to use my cell phone in ways that I didn’t need.
Whatever your phone of choice is – iPhone, Android, whatever – there’s no possible way of winning the cycle of fashionability, there’s only falling behind. The trick is to fall so far behind that when the cycle comes back around, you’ll have already won, and I think I have..
If you’d like to discuss further, I’ll probably call you eventually.
Talk to you soon,