It’s 2012 and I’ve never had a smartphone. I think there was a bit of a tipping point right after we left Hawaii because when we went to the States in May, EVERYONE had a smartphone of one kind or another. iPads too. The boom was incredible. 

Me? I have a pay-as-you-go British mobile and Skype on my Macbook and iPod. The phone’s only practical use is a paperweight and as an emergency contact number for the preschool. I think Tom is on his third phone since we’ve arrived–I know he’s washed at least one. (We’ll come back to that.)

While in the States we had access to New Hampshire, that mecca of sales tax-free shopping. So I decided to join the last decade, at least, and buy myself an iPod Touch. I flirted with the idea of an unlocked iPhone with a replaceable SIM that I could use in America and the UK, but decided against it. An unlocked phone would cost about as much as replacing my old stolen iPod, our point-and-shoot camera, and my current mobile all together. While an iPod Touch would be enormously useful while we travel, I didn’t call people enough here to justify a new phone. And of course, our regular point-and-shoot camera–a lovely Canon model–was doing just fine.

Tom wears cargo shorts around the house. They’re pretty heavy. It’s hard to notice extra weight in the pockets, which I normally only check if I hear the jangle of loose change. 

Stop me if you see where this is going.

Yep, I washed the camera. I washed that sucker good. And as an added bonus, I also washed a pen. A part of me was furious at Tom for leaving those things in his pocket and then leaving his shorts on the floor, but ultimately the buck stops at she who loads the washer. Amazingly enough, the memory card was just fine, but the body of the camera was toast and the medium-colored items in that load of darks were spotted with thick blue blotches. 

As the British say, “Bugger.”

In hindsight, I should have just gone with the unlocked iPhone, but who expects the Spanish Inquisition? Or a camera full of Tide suds? Not I. I thought I was smarter than that–I should know better–so I didn’t even think about it. If this iPod lasts as long as my last one (which, as far as I know, still works–I just forgot to ever claim it from the evidence department) it will be about 2017 before I can get my iPhone…ten years after the original came out. Who knows what they’ll have then? Probably bio-integrated touchscreens embedded in your forearm with super-cameras. My old phone will still be my paperweight, if paper is still around.

Oh well. Not everyone can be an early adopter.


3 thoughts on “Luddite

  1. T does the same thing as you. Prepaid phone for emergencies and iPod Touch for her “mobile” device. We use google voice and the app Talkatone. Works great. She receives all her calls to there from her old mobile number that we ported to google voice.

  2. we had a similar incident involving an iphone, cargo-short-like swim trucks, and 15 minutes of submersion in a caribbean inlet. thank you insurance…

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