Tuesday, January 6, 2015


OK, I am going to admit it.

I am one of the last surviving people on this planet who has not yet given up my flip phone. 

In fact, I bought a new one last week.

I am a flip phone goddess.

It's not an easy title to hold. People make fun of me all the time. My boys, both owners of iphones,  refuse to be seen in public with me when I am using my flip phone. When I do playground duty, the middle school kids regularly ask me what time it is, simply so they can crowd around and laugh as I pull out my flip phone. Even my eighty-year-old mother has suggested I might like to upgrade. And I would kind of like a phone with a camera.

But the flip phone definitely has its advantages. Take last week, for instance, when I accidentally left my old phone in my pocket. And washed it. And had to get a new phone. For some people, replacing a phone would be a major purchase. For me, not so much. I can usually get my flip phones for anywhere between $5 and $15, depending on which model is available on any given day.

I march into the local big box store, like I always do. I know exactly where the flip phones are kept. This week they are on sale. $7.94. Including tax.

My favorite part of the whole buying experience is watching the sales clerks watch me pick out my phone. They all kind of huddle together. Elbowing each other. Snickering "Look, here she comes again. That lady that buys the flip phones."

I'm a strong woman though, not easily shaken by the opinion of the crowd. I select my new flip phone. March up to the counter. Make my purchase. Request help with the SIM card. The lucky sales clerk that gets to help me is usually shadowed by two or three peers, wanting to get a closer look at the lady that's buying the flip phone.

Last week, I ran into a little problem. The clerk couldn't get the SIM card to sync right. He told me I would have to go across the street to the ATT store. So I did. I expected to make another grand societal splash, but I wasn't quite so lucky. A young man who had played basketball with my son was working.

"Hi, K's mom. What can I do for you?" he said. I explained my situation. Ty's a nice guy. He didn't even blink, just opened up the back of my new phone and got right to work. It took him about two minutes, then he snapped the back in place, and handed it back to me.

"You want me to check and see if you are eligible for an upgrade?" he said.

"No I'm good. But thanks," I smiled and tucked my flip phone in my purse and marched out of the store.

That might have been the end of the story. Unfortunately, though, a couple of days later, I needed to charge my flip phone (flip phones hold a charge much longer than one of those fancy smart phones!). And I went to get the charger out of the plastic container. And discovered it had accidentally been left out of the package. Or left at the big box store.

So I had to go back and repeat the whole experience all over again. March into the Big Box store. Ignore the incredulous looks. Purchase my phone. Request help with the SIM card. Get sent back to the ATT store (I don't think these young whipper snapper clerks know how to work with classic flip phones). That day, Ty wasn't working and the store manager helped me while everyone else watched. This time the crowd included not only the sales clerks, but also several fascinated customers.

"You want me to check and see if you are eligible for an upgrade?" said the store manager.

"No I'm good. But thanks," I smile, tuck my flip phone in my purse, and walk confidently out of the store, rubbing my tiara.

It's not easy being a flip phone goddess.


Stacey Shubitz said...

You should meet my dad. He's the only other person I know who refused the upgrade and traded-in his flip phone for another flip phone. Hahaha! Enjoy it, Carol!

Dana Murphy said...

I couldn't get enough of this Slice. I loved every word. You stick to your guns. Don't cave to peer pressure! You rock that flip phone until you're good and ready!

So well-written - thanks for sharing your story today!

Michelle said...

You make me laugh!! I will say my mom recently upgraded from the flip phone to a sorta-smart phone. She can now text with ease. My father-in-law is still sporting the flip. He takes pictures with it (why, I'm not even sure?!?) We were visiting Santa with my girls & Santa could not help but laugh!! "Looks like Grandpa needs a new phone! We don't even have parts up at the North Pole to fix those any more!" Santa replied. But as you said, when you can replace it for cheap ... Why not? Keep up the flip, Carol!

Linda B said...

$7.94, sounds enticing! But you wrote this with such bravado, Carol. I want to use that old phrase: "you go, girl!" Glad you got it all worked out!

Judy said...

What fun this was to read. Thanks for the chuckle.

Jennifer said...

My phone is even simpler than a flip phone (which I miss!) it looks like a blackberry. I use it to call my mom a couple times a month, to send text messages to my teen aides, and for emergencies. I have been informed that without a smartphone I am a traitor to my profession and should not even be calling myself librarian. *rolls eyes*

Mary Lee said...


But, based on this slice, I don't think you need more proof. You have the tiara!!

(Funniest. Slice. Ever.)

Lisa Keeler said...

What a fun slice to read! I love that you have held firm on this.