Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Blackberry Bush

I don't know if she wants to be identified so let me just begin by saying a big 'thanks' to one of you lovely readers who has been emailing me questions and ideas for fixing my blogging problem. In her (your) last email some ideas for fixing the problem were suggested, I'm not going to try them tonight, I'm the kind that loses sleep over these things so I'll try first thing in the morning when I feel fresh. And trust me, that particular window is getting shorter and shorter as the years pass.

Onwards ...

A couple days ago I overheard a woman saying to her friend that she had left her Blackberry at home and felt 'Just utterly crippled without it.' Our eyes met just as she said it and she flustered an apology saying, as people always do when they mean what they say, 'That's not what I meant.' It was a brief moment, not really worthy of note or comment here. Certainly not the stuff of a full blog post.

Until today.

Joe and I went out, rushing a bit, on Saturday morning. On our way I asked him if he'd brought his phone. He hadn't. He asked if I brought mine. I hadn't. A few minutes later he asked me what time it was as we were worried about being late, I realized that I hadn't put on my watch either. No phones, no clocks, would we manage? When we got where we were going, I'm not going to tell you where and I'll tell you why I'm not telling you a bit later, we relaxed having got there in plenty of time.

We both started giggling at almost the same time. We felt like we were playing hooky from school. We felt like we did in those days of our youth when we snuck out of our parents houses at night. We felt like we'd ditched responsibilities and had hidden ourselves in plain sight. It was delicious. Lovely.

We had unhitched from the world and, unlike my non-disabled conversant who felt disabled without her phone, I felt completely free without mine. I didn't have an urge to check emails, or check blog comments, or check work communications ... I didn't go into withdrawal. It was just lovely.

So we had a hidden afternoon - completely hidden. And I have no desire, now, to undo that. It feels like reclaiming privacy and reestablishing boundaries. It feels like saying to the world - hey, back off, we're out and alone and loving it. We aren't, we decided, going to become that couple that sits beside each other in a restaurant texting people who aren't there about what they aren't doing with people who are there. Nope, we're going to still have things to say only to each other. We're going to be adults and go out alone every now and then.

A lovely private afternoon during which I felt like a rebellious child and an unencumbered adult all at the same time. Amazing.

I fully recommend it.


painting with fire said...

Read a lengthy discussion about camping places where there is no cell coverage lately - most of the commenters were aghast at the idea of being disconnected. I've generally enjoyed that aspect of the wilderness quite a bit - makes the escape feel all the more real!

Happy said...

I feel vulnerable without my phone, since I can't call for help if I need it. I rarely use it when I'm out, except to phone for a taxi, but I need to have it, or I don't feel safe.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Happy, there are times when I won't go without my phone. Like you, I have issues with my safety and even my vulnerablity. But that's not quite the same as the plugged in, tuned out, kind of thing I was meaning here. If it sounded otherwise, I'm sorry.

Susan said...

I'm sitting in a church pew while writing this - listening to the sermon, no less, with one ear open. Hopefully I'm catching the important parts.

I guess you've made your point. I need an intervention... :)

Flemisa said...

It feels even better when it is a weekday and everyone else is at work! Even though I may have planned the day off and gotten the permission required, I can still take a slightly guilty pleasure in being out and about without time restrictions or the phone right at hand when I would normally be working.

Sunshine and Shadows said...

I forget my phone often and on purpose. I love not being tied to it.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. I think you guys should leave your phones at home at least for one outing a week :) Thats what I try to do!

I also enjoy just letting my phone ring sometimes and not answering it. Is that bad? :)


Tamara said...

lol - Glad you enjoyed your phone-free time. I'm much more relaxed with my Blackberry in my pocket. It's not work or the internet that I need - I just need to be reachable for my kids and my mom. If not, I really don't relax.