It happened so fast. In a split second -- literally, a split second -- my day changed.
I could be overly dramatic and say that my whole life changed in that very instant, but I'm not feeling too overly dramatic. It's not an overly dramatic day, is all, which is not to say that on any other day I might be totally overly dramatic in describing what happened the other morning in that split second when my cell phone slid off my dashboard and into a Solo cup of water. Klunk, it went, just like that and suddenly out of nowhere I had one of those slow motion experiences like you see in the movies and I grabbed my phone out of the water while shouting (in slow motion, mind you) "nooooooooo!" with water splashing (in slow motion) all over the car but, sigh, it was too late. There were no signs of life.
And just like in the movies there was a long, pregnant pause of silence as I stared longingly at my dead phone. No one was there to console me. It was just me -- me and my cold, lifeless phone. It's a good thing I'm not feeling overly-dramatic.
As soon as I composed myself I took action, took the back cover off the phone and took out the battery, soaked up as much water as I could with my sleeve, and blew on it. A little TLC was all it needed. That would help, surely it would, and when it didn't I turned the air conditioning up full blast and held the phone up to the vent and when that didn't work I beat the phone up and down on the car seat and when that didn't work I screamed at the top of my lungs hoping maybe I would scare it back into working because I really hate to be wasteful and having to get a new phone would be just, well, not good. But screaming didn't work either. But something else did.
Rice. I may have spilled it all on the carpet and had to painstakingly scoop it back into the bag, but it worked -- carpet lint and all -- it worked. Good as new.
As I sat staring at my cell phone cradled in a bed of moisture absorbing long grain white rice sealed in a plastic baggie I wondered -- was this so bad? No texts, no messages, no phone calls for a few hours ... a day, even ... Relaxing, even. Liberating. Just plain nice. But wait ... what if someone needs me?
My husband does not love talking on the telephone, a fact I have known for more than 20 years. However, he does call me during the day for those important questions that only I can answer.
"What's for dinner?" he asks, to which I often reply, "What do you want?"
"Something good," he answers, to which I want to reply (but never do), "No, I think I'll cook something really horrible," but I don't, even though I think it. "Ok," I say instead. And that is that.
What will he do if that burning question hits him on the one day I don't have a cell phone, I wondered. Will he be lost? Confused? Wondering all day if I have decided what we will have for dinner and, if not, making certain that I know it should be something good? I sent him an email.
"I dropped my phone in water and now it's dead," I wrote, asking him to also text our children that if they needed anything to let him know. He said he would be happy to tell them that their mother dropped her phone in the toilet, which is actually is only funny because he dropped his phone in the toilet once and I haven't let him forget it after 14 years.
"I did not drop it in the toilet," I said but it didn't matter because he already told our daughter that I did. That's okay.
The next time he asks what's for dinner maybe, just maybe if I'm feeling overly dramatic, I'll say rice.
I hate to be wasteful.
Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.