I did something last night that I believe was a very adult thing to do.
For months — nay! — years now, I have been coveting the iPhone. And it wasn’t just me — my dad, a self-identified techie — also lusted after its shiny casing (“How ’bout that iPhone, Brittany?? Now that’s what you want!”) Being a college student on a Verizon family plan severely limited my ability to rescue that beauty from its AT&T prison, so I waited idly by until: WHABAM. Verizon, with her steely claws, snatched up the iPhone just, like, a month ago.
Like so many, I thought, “My time has finally come!” And prepared myself for endless apps and MacBook syncing possibilities.
Since Dad kindly pays my $10 contribution to the family plan every month, and we both knew that we both wanted that iPhone and that I was up for an upgrade, we sat down to have the big talk.
I play it back now like an epic movie montage: Beethoven’s 5th is playing amid our wild gesticulations as the camera cuts to tight shots of the anger and excitement on our faces, blue prints and plans flying about. “THEY’LL GIVE US THE DATA PLAN FOR $10 OFF!” “BUT HOW. WILL. WE. DO IT???”
As most Dad-conversations go, this one ended with, “Okay, we’ll figure it out later.” (They wonder why I’m a procrastinator, sheesh.)
When I went to the Verizon store to check things out, I realized upgrading phones wouldn’t be too costly, but the data plan would require me to pawn off several necessary limbs every month. Standing there, playing with some girl’s Facebook she left signed in on a sample Droid, I thought, “What if my dad will pick up the data plan?”
As someone who doesn’t live in a suburban basement, I immediately felt gross about it. Sure, Dad pays the 10 clams for my regular service, but that’s nothing (I rationalize). Add another $30 to that and what kind of monster would I be? Robbing the roost of a potential SIX $5 footlongs?!? It couldn’t be done. I went home that night empty-handed considering how I could finance my Steve Jobs dream.
As tempting as it was timely, the battery in my existing phone suddenly began to whither and die. No matter how hard I chucked the stupid thing against my passenger seat, I just couldn’t sustain a phone call longer than five minutes. After one too many conversations ending with, “Uhp! Hold on I think my phone’s gonna–! Die. It’s dead. You can’t hear me,” I knew that no matter how many financial algorithms I thought I could concoct in my sleep, I couldn’t hold out for the iPhone any longer.
So last night, sweaty and hamster-haired from the gym, I drove to the Verizon store, asked for a battery and some new screen covers, and left spending less than I would for an entire month of data plan service.
Am I less cool because I don’t have a smart phone? Maybe. I may not be able to play Angry Birds or inter-phoneular Scrabble, and I do feel a lot like an old man, but that’s okay. I made an adult decision not to bankrupt myself or ask my parents for more money, even in the face of looking uncool. So maybe the guy at the Verizon store thought I was a hobo and said, “Yeah, your phone is pretty old, so I don’t think we have any cases for it,” but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I still have my extra $30 every month, and I can spend it on something as mature as my decision. Like booze.