Wednesday, August 5, 2009

BlackBerry Break Down Leads to Marital Mayhem

© 2009 Leighann Lord

I guess my Husband got tired of me complaining about my cell phone. I have a BlackBerry Pearl and I while I love it, it hasn’t aged gracefully: Freezing, rapid battery drainage, random data deletion. I see the spinning icon so often I suspect it’s a self installed Zen meditation application.

I spend a lot of time on the phone with "Zack," my generic name for the army of 20 some things who work in BlackBerry’s Technical Support Department. They’re knowledgeable, competent and friendly, but that’s at least a two-hour phone call, not including the 20 minutes it takes convincing T-Mobile to switch me over to BlackBerry.

"Yes, I turned the unit off and on."

"Yes, I removed the battery."

"Yes, I’d like to keep all of my past appointments on my phone and in my Outlook. Can we please just call, Zack?"

During one of these all too frequent calls, the T-Mobile Rep was surprised and then alarmed to learn that I still had my original sym card. "That might be why you’re having so many problems," she said. "You should get a new one right away."

"How much will that cost?" I asked.

Wow, I thought to myself, it must be bad if they’re willing to replace it for free.

My suspicions were confirmed when the In-Store Rep stared at my primordial sym card and said, "Oh my god! This still says Voice Stream!" The Voice Stream company met its end back when social networking still meant talking to someone face to face.

That’s when my Dear Husband, who had been on his phone since we’d arrived at the store, hung up and announced: "We’re getting new BlackBerries!"

"What? But our contracts aren’t up. Don’t tease me." I’ve been wanting a new BlackBerry for ages, and by wanting I mean flat out lusting. It seems like everybody on the planet except me has a flashy new BlackBerry, but the $400 mid-contract price tag curbs my desire.

"I’m not paying $400 for a new phone," I said. "Correction: I’m not paying $800 for two new phones," because my Husband’s BlackBerry Pearl is as old and persnickety as mine.

"No, you’re not," he said.
"I called them and laid out our case: We’re long time customers. Our phones are old and failing. My wife is on the phone every day with ‘Zack.’ This is unacceptable. We’re switching companies if we don’t get new phones."

He also not so subtly pointed out that the math was in our favor. It’s cheaper for us to leave, pay the cancellation fee and get new phones from a new company. Voila, new phones are on the way.

"I saved us even more money," he said triumphantly.


"I combined our accounts."

[Insert stunned silence here.]

"You what?" I said quietly.
Sensing danger, but not knowing exactly why, my Husband answered, "I combined our accounts. The Rep said if we’re married we’d save money with a family plan."

[More silence.]

"What? We’ll get one bill now instead of two," he said.

[Silence, arched eyebrows and full-on pouty glare.]

"Did I mention we’ll save money?"

"But you should have ask me first!"
I said finally.

"I’m sorry! It sounded like a good deal. Doesn’t this help?"

"No!" I said.

"Why not?"

"‘Cause I’m not ready for this level of commitment!"


"We’ve been married eight years," he said quietly.
We all have our quirks and this is one of mine. I love my Husband dearly but we maintain separate music collections, clothes closets and laundry baskets. I just can’t have my fine Woolite washables co-mingling with his regular cycle man clothes. I honestly didn’t know I’d feel this way about combining our cell phone bills. I have no rational explanation for this except to say it’s probably part quirky personality trait, part control freak.

[Continued silence and then the manly sigh of defeat.]

"The Rep said we can separate the bills any time we want."

I said.


"Will I have to give the new phone back?"

he said. "So do you want to change it?"

"No. I guess having our phones on one plan is kinda romantic."

[Insert manly groan of frustration here.]

"Thanks for the new phone," I said.

"You’re welcome. Wanna celebrate by doing a combined load of laundry?"
[Insert feminine groan of frustration here.]

"Let’s see how this cell phone thing works out first."

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