Yesterday Mrs. Ochiai spent most of the afternoon helping me buy a new cell phone. This is a long story...
I have always been sort of anti-cell phone. I don't like the way people hang onto their cell phones like it is an umbilical cord to society. For years I resisted owning a cell phone.
Of course Takumi and Leiya wanted cell phones when they were in school and about the time Leiya hit jr. high and Takumi hit high school, more and more young people carried around cell phones as a matter of course (and I heard many stories of irresponsibility!) Takumi bought his own cell phone when he was in high school paying for it with a part time job. Leiya we kept at bay saying when she went to high school she could have one though many of her jr. high friends were already carrying them around. (And now elementary school kids have them!)
But Leiya decided to go to the States for high school and I thought that meant I was saved from buying her a cell phone.
Well, I did but since she was only going to be in Japan 4 more months, I didn't see the point.
Around the same time, Tetsu's convalescent home adopted the policy of all employees carrying cell phones and though he too resisted, he felt it was "time". He and Leiya went to the cell phone shop and bought two phones on some family plan... And after four months, when Leiya went to the States, her cell phone was passed on to me. That was nearly 6 years ago...
But I have never liked my cell phone.
For one thing, it wouldn't do anything in English! Some of my friends' cell phones did English and they didn't even use the function! Why didn't mine? But it didn't. So that put a damper on learning how to use it... I could sort of call... I could sort of answer in-coming calls. I could sort of do text messaging...
A couple of years ago I threatened to throw away my cell phone. The only reason I ever opened it was to get the same text message that Tetsu sent me every night.
"Will be late. You go on to bed. Love you lots."
I rarely heard from anyone else. But by this time Tetsu felt the cell phone was a necessity and then this year my crosswalk position asked I always keep a cell phone handy in case of emergencies. Okay. I am a cell phone owner but with little interest.
Tetsu came home last week and said he'd gotten a message from the cell phone service saying that our old cell phones would no longer be operable and that we needed to change to a new style. He had already gone ahead and received a new cell phone from his office. He had talked with the service and told them they might as well give him another cell phone for his wife (me) on a private account. Anything would be fine. Free best. She didn't care about cell phones or use them.
WAIT A MINUTE!!! If I'm going to get a new cell phone I want to think about it a bit. It was Mrs. Ochiai who influenced me. She is always using her cell phone and talking about it's wonders... In fact she had long ago said if ever I should want to buy a new cell phone (she would look at my old one with disgust) then she wanted to be included in the purchasing process.
"Tetsu, I'm going to ask Mrs. Ochiai to help me pick out a cell phone. I want to know why people have fun with their cell phones! I want to enjoy my very own this time."
Tetsu thought this very strange. What is there to enjoy about a cell phone?
Mrs. Ochiai researched the cell phone industry on Thursday. (She visited three shops.) Yesterday, armed with the right questions and my own cell phone quirks (I'd like English please... How about usage when I visit the States?) I purchased my very own cell phone. PINK!!!
Okay... the rest of this post is for Leiya.
Leiya! My new cell phone is pink! It is called Besky and it is CUTE! How can a cell phone be cute? Well... First off I can change the key board if I want... There are different shaped buttons for easy use I guess. Sort of like playing paper dolls....
"Let me see... Maybe I will use the round buttons today!"
Granted, how many times does one want to change the key board, but I can! And the changeable keyboard lights up in seven different colors! Cool~!
And then... Even though the cover looks solid, it isn't! It somehow has hidden away lights and they flash a different configuration every time I open and close the phone. There are 10s of different little figures that show up on the cover each time my cell phone gets used. Dogs, cats, ducks, hearts, monkeys, clovers etc. etc. (As well as the time). I never know what I'm going to get next! Now THAT is CUTE~!
Okay... Telephone calling... E-mail... C-mail... Camera... Infrared information exchange... A step counter... A TV! Even a way to pay for purchases by passing the cell phone over a store register... Obviously I haven't figured out how to do that yet, but I will!
After purchasing, Mrs. Ochiai and I spent another hour in Starbucks while she went over the instruction book and tried to explain the different functions. And when I got home Mrs. Ochiai sent me (e-mail) a site for reading the instruction book in English so now I don't have any excuses NOT to learn how to be an expert cell phone user.
First off I e-mailed Tetsu.
"I bought a cell phone!!! PINK! I am going to learn how to use it!"
Tetsu couldn't believe I'd really done it. And when he came home he took one look at me...
"You sure look pleased with yourself..."
I took my cell phone with me on this morning's walk (5541 steps...) And here is a cell phone picture. Pretty good... pretty good...
I'm more sympathetic to umbilical cord cell phone users... You can't get me away from my cell phone today!