Confessions of a “Flip-Flopper” by Andrea Santo Felcone

I just realized (recently) that I seem to be one of only a handful of moms standing on the school’s blacktop carrying a purse. I’m not sure where the rest of you are putting your wallet, keys, lipstick, licorice throat lozenges, BENGAY® cream, etc. (OK, I’m exaggerating on those last two items, but seriously, where are you putting your stuff?) I feel like carrying my purse on the blacktop is akin to holding a neon sign with my age printed on it. (Oh well.)flip phone

In point of fact though, my purse serves the practical function of “holding my stuff” but it was also (until very recently) hiding … my flip phone. (I know, I know.) I have very little to excuse the fact that I was still using a flip phone until, like, uh, last month. (Please at least let me explain before you scroll down to the next item in your ‘feed’…. that cute porcupine eating the banana will still be there in a few minutes, I promise, if you’ll just hear me out.)

I guess you could say this “phone upgrade thing” had gotten away from me. And in my defense, I can only say, that once it had gotten away, it was like a snowball rolling downhill–fast. Nothing ages you faster than walking around the blacktop—trying to hide your flip phone. Because, if heaven forbid, you don’t have a smartphone … you might as well be carrying two tin cups, a long string, and Alexander Graham Bell’s original sketches, because, you will feel like an outcast from modern society.

Simply put: It was getting harder and harder to get by with the old ‘flip-flopper’.

(Still with me? Great.)

It feels good to get this off my chest. So, how did this happen? Well, I guess it’s like everything else, several things converged. Here now, in “list” form (easier to read on that smartphone of yours!) are my reasons (in no particular order):

I was hoping you’d think my “flip-flopper” was a burner phone and that I was way cooler than I really am. A friend pointed out that if I lived in Brooklyn, maybe I could get away with that, but out here in the ‘burbs, no one was going to buy that. No one.

The last time I purchased a cell phone, I’d been on the brink of despair: When I purchased my very first cell phone, I was pregnant with my firstborn and was waiting for my husband to arrive home from work. He was late—really late. I had no way to reach him, and I was assuming he was where I always assume he is when I can’t reach him … in a ditch. So I made my first cell phone purchase under stress. (I guess part of me associates upgrading cell phones with trauma.)

I was waiting for a good deal. Or some insight into what all of that fine print gibberish is that accompanies all cell phone “plans and packages”. I was waiting for some way of interpreting which plan was best for my needs (clearly I don’t need much). My previous method, call Verizon and ask for “whatever you give very old people” had worked fine up until now.

I was waiting for my friends to stop enabling me. You know how most of your friends will tell you what you want to hear, but one special friend will tell you what you need to hear? Well, I’m not sure what happened to her. Because everyone kept enabling me. These are the same friends that initially “texted me” and caused me to step into this century and get a texting plan, but after that, they let me be. Note: IF I’VE EVER TEXTED YOU PRIOR TO JULY 2018, THAT AUTOMATICALLY MEANS I LOVE YOU. Because, it was very difficult for me to text on my old “flip-flopper”. (It was the equivalent of hand drying parchment and taking out an old quill and penning you a note.) Still, my friends worked around my technology deficiency. One friend knows I couldn’t see “emojis” on my flip phone (they come up as rectangles) so she used to write: “insert heart emoji here,” etc. I have wonderful friends (Insert heart emoji here—for real) but they weren’t forcing the issue. Which leads me to # 5….

I was actually waiting for an INTERVENTION: I think some part of me was waiting to walk into my living room to find 6 of my closest friends sitting in a circle simultaneously wearing their “we’ve got to talk” face. Never happened. What I wouldn’t have given for a nice INTERVENTION. But, this never happened, instead, (please re-read # 4 if you are so inclined, or if you are anxious to see the porcupine eating the banana–move on to # 6….)

I was waiting for Jack and Connie to make a house call. You know, those cute little people, “Jack and Connie” of Consumer Cellular®? I was waiting for them to scoop me up in their RV and take me out to purchase a smartphone, and then we could all go kayaking or something. I’m sure Connie packs great snacks.

I was waiting for my thumbs to shrink. Or at least for them to feel smaller to text on those tiny screens. (How are you people doing that?) Remember those “old timey” phones we had as kids where you’d insert your finger into the circular hole to dial? Those were the perfect size, no worries. No ‘fat shaming’ of any of your digits. Now though, I go to press a letter with my thumb, (a normal-sized thumb for those wondering) and nope, I keep hitting the wrong letter. Ugh. (And the insecurity of “Does this phone make my thumbs look fat?” Who needs that?)

I was waiting for “hanging up” on the smartphone to be more satisfying. On the old flip-flopper, that “click” sound really let you know when the conversation was over.

 So, truthfully, I’m still a bit conflicted. I don’t want to turn into a smartphone ‘zombie,’–someone not engaged in the real world. But, I do see some benefits to the smartphone. For one, I can take my phone out of my purse, shame-free, and focus my energy on where it really belongs–on the shame of carrying a big, old “mom purse” in the first place. (Insert smiley-faced emoji here).

Tags: , ,

  1. 2 Responses to “Confessions of a “Flip-Flopper” by Andrea Santo Felcone”


    By Jennifer on Aug 10, 2018

  3. Thanks Jennifer. I just got one and am adapting to it (well enough I guess). Thanks for reading!

    By Andrea Felcone on Aug 11, 2018