Smart phone, dumb owner

Smart phone, dumb owner

Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt

I own a ridiculously expensive phone. That may be the most embarrassing thing I write this year. I’m fine with admitting my weight struggle, my lack of memory, my lack of organization. But when it comes to money, well, as your grandma would say, “I’m tighter than Dick’s hat band.”
There’s a reason I own an expensive phone. I have to be able to take credit card payments when I do book sales at speaking engagements. Credit card capability requires an expensive smart phone. There’s only one little problem. My smart phone has a dumb owner.
When I was in New Mexico recently, my host and I enjoyed a wonderful get-to-know-each-other conversation on the way back from the airport. But when she dropped me off at the hotel, she made what she thought was a simple request. “Lisa, let me give you my phone number in case you need to contact me before I pick you up for the event tonight.”
I dug through my purse like a mad woman. I fumbled around until I finally found the back of a grocery store receipt and an ink pen. I clicked the pen and happily said, “OK. I’m ready for the number.”
She bore a look of shock. Right there sitting on my lap was a bright and shiny I-phone and I was ready to write her phone number on a receipt with a free ink pen from an insurance company. Finally, she spoke, “Oh, I just thought you’d put it in your phone. I mean, that is an I-phone, right?”
I wanted so desperately to say, “Oh, this old thing? Uh, no. It’s not an I-phone.” But alas, Mama and Daddy taught me not to lie. I spoke calmly, “Well, yeah, it is an I-phone. People call it a smart phone, but there’s a problem with mine.”
With sadness and horror, she said, “Oh, Lisa, if there’s a problem, you should send it back! They’ll fix it. They will!”
Sweat was clinging to my brow as I spoke, “Uh, well, this particular problem won’t be fixed by my sending it back to Apple. My phone’s problem is not that it’s not smart. Oh, no. I’m sure this phone is highly intelligent. The problem is that my smart phone has a dumb owner. I mean, I know I’m supposed to be able to put in your phone number and check my stock market report and bake brownies with it. But I can’t do any of those things. Truth is, I still feel a little scared when it rings.”
The young and beautiful 28-year-old marketing director was speechless. Finally she spoke with a laugh, “Oh, don’t worry! I understand! My grandma feels the same way about her phone!”
Her grandma? Yes. Her grandma. Evidently, I have a lot in common with the grandmas of the world. We don’t know how to use our phones.
My ever-patient tech-oriented husband and children now give me phone lessons almost daily. I desperately want to feel as though the phone and I are on the same team. But sometimes I hear my phone’s mocking voice in the night, “Lisa, I can do things you don’t understand.” When I hear that voice, I say quietly, “I’m funny and I can make biscuits. I also know where your off switch is.” And the old gal wins again.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website,

Published in The Messenger 10.17.12


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