Sometimes a Phone is More than a Phone (Plan)

There may not have been expensive lawyers involved in our break-up. There may not have been costly moves, or messy challenges of finding a new living space. But during long term relationships, there are some things that can take a hit, and sometimes that hit can be as bad as losing a shared dog, or fighting over who brought The Cars Greatest Hits into the relationship.

Some things like a shared phone plan.

In the same vein of a shared apartment, generally one person is the Lord and Overseer, while the other is merely the Scrub. In this case of the shared phone plan, I was the measly Scrub. There will be many things I will miss in my failed relationship, and damn that phone plan ranks up there with fantastic barbeque, and drinks by the light of the fire in the middle of the desert. Yes, it was THAT good.

I knew I wouldn’t beat the price. But I figured I was willing to pay what I needed to keep what I had. Then I found to my utter dismay that AT&T doesn’t even offer what we had to the general public anymore. Ours was like this wonderful stream of gold found in only the most lush and remote parts of the world. But like Eve and the Garden of Eden, once you step foot outside, you are banished for a lifetime.

It was a stingy metaphor to what I had recently walked from. Ouch.

“Unlimited data, for how much?” I would hear from friends with other plans, who had taken second mortgages out to afford their tiny little 2Gs of data a month.  I could smile and be happy that I was part of this great thing. While others held their phones in awkward positions trying to get signals in the middle of the desert, I could sit in the cool shade, sipping my drink and surfing the net on my 4G.

But smugness has its price. Eventually someone has to pay the Piper, and sometimes it means offering a newborn babe as a sacrifice. Unfortunately, I was well beyond my birthing years, and while stealing a child crossed my mind, I do have limits. Some.

The truth was, all the sacrificed newborns in the world wouldn’t have helped once I was removed from The Plan. Merrily and naïve I went out, full of surety that I would attain at least something comparable to what I had.  As I shopped for new phone plans, I swear it felt like I was met with icy haughtiness and sometimes even a small harrumph. “AT&T doesn’t offer that plan anymore. You have to be grandfathered in to get it.” was the reply I was met with time after time. I was Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, roaming Beverly Hills, without the boots. “Ok, I thought – Grandfather me in.” hoping my bluff would be accepted, but knowing full and well when one is removed from the club, it’s a lifetime removal.

Like the street urchin I was starting to feel like, I pressed my nose to the proverbial window pane of this thing called Grandfatherness; The Club I would never again be part of, and watched those with their unlimited 4G, and never dropped calls and felt a deep and great sadness.

I am now part of the matrix that feels the frustration of holding a phone and watching that spinning circle trying to connect me to the web when I am inside my office, only to be denied.  I feel defeat when I am unable to check my personal email, or suffer a dropped call, because I had to sign with a subpar carrier. I went from champagne and caviar to Bud Light and Wheat Thins.

For the record, I could have signed with my old carrier. I would have had the most limited of data – a smidgen in comparison to unlimited, and only for the greatest amount of money. As well, I would have had to agree to never ever pass The Grandfathered Club and smoosh my nose against the glass.

I stood my ground and firmly said no. “I will not be bullied into this!” I croaked out as I took the lesser plan, with more data for fewer pennies. And as I left the phone store, I swear I heard Satan laugh and say in a booming voice “Two years! I’ve got you for two years!” as my phone went on continual thought mode with the swirly circle.

Well played AT&T, well played.

There are moments of great sadness without Him at times, and sometimes the loneliness feels suffocating, but nothing, simply nothing compares to losing that phone line.



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