For about six months my wife has been whining: I want an iPhone. This after various people had shown her the niceties of the various applications on their own personal smart phones. Like Constellation, permitting you to point the iPhone to the sky and getting a detailed read on various constellations and planets. Or the one which gives you the most popular songs of any year for the past one hundred. Go to the iPhone Apps Store on line to wallow in the esoterica of possibility.
Why does she want one?
“Because I want everything in one place,” she argues.
I thought that that was our house. A few years ago an astrological reading concluded with the ominous but accurate throw away line that, “The house is yours, he just gets to live there.” Our house is immaculate and meticulously clean.
I had a hard time thinking what “everything” meant to Jody. Clearly her dogeared address book would be replaced. Her handwritten scrawls on her calendar would be entered into iCal. She would be able to receive and send emails while she was shopping at Whole Earth. If she suddenly got the whim to check out the performances at the Opera National de Paris (we are going to Paris for a month) she could surf the Internet.
But did I need to do so? One of my friends had said to me over our monthly lunch, after I was explained why I thought an iPhone an unecessary bit of technological seduction, “Lou you are an iPhone kinda guy.” Unsure whether to take it as a compliment or a threat I was not convinced.
Getting an iPhone would necessitate my leaving Verizon and signing on with AT&T. Admittedly I am not fond of any cellular phone company; they hold us hostage on two year contracts on which, if you cancel it, you pay a significant financial penalty. So you accept your company of choice on faith.
A friend of mine, triumphantly waving his iPhone one day, asked if I knew that “Verizon supported Glen Beck”? The next day I got an offer in the mail to join Credo Mobile, an offshoot of Working Assets: they claimed that both AT&T and Verizon supported rightwing causes and candidates. Feeling loyal to Verizon (I was convinced they had a better network and more responsive customer service) I sent the offer to my friend.
Then Verizon came out with its answer to the iPhone: The Droid. At the Verizon store I was told that I could have $150 off the list price and a thirty day customer satifaction agreement. Tickled that I had gotten the latest smart phone technology, reviewed as being better than the iPhone, I signed the contract and headed home.
I was on call and wanted to see how things would work out. I created settings for phone and text messages and went to sleep. The text message prompt went off indiscriminately through the night; there were no messages. I kept calling the answering service to check that there had been no patient calls. I had a tenuous and tortured night.
The next day I ventured back to Verizon and asked if the Droid could do the one thing I liked about my simple Motorola LG Something Or Other. I could talk to a patient and take down a pharmacy number while chatting, save it and then dial it the minute I hung up. A great convenience for a busy physician who hates the phone.
It could not.
I returned the Droid to its creators and resumed using my old phone. But not before I had announced to Jody when I arrived home the previous day with my new toy that, “I will definitely get you an iPhone for your birthday and Christmas.”
So I am stuck. When I give it to her I think I will include a prescription for Ritalin.