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adios, iPhone

We’ve suffered for a long time at the hands of AT&T. I’m not about using my blog to trash companies, but it’s been three long years of not getting reception in our own house and spending ten minutes with a wailing toddler waiting for the “hippo and dog” YouTube video to load.

Last fall we went to a Blazers game with our friends Dave and Courtney. Tom and I looked up from worrying that neither of us had a single bar on our iPhones (how would the sitter reach us?), to see Dave watching live-streaming ESPN on his Verizon Android. Watching ESPN inside an arena! What the hell. I could not have been more shocked if Dave had started levitating. Tom looked like he was going to cry. From that night on, it was a race to the finish. To the finish of our two-year AT&T contract.

I blamed AT&T, and solely AT&T, for our troubles. But for Tom, the AT&T stink had permeated his iPhone, and he wanted nothing more to do with either AT&T or Apple. For eight months I got to hear him talk about his new phone, the one he would get when our contract was up. “Yoona, it’s a Samsung. Babe, it’s KOREAN. Aren’t you happy I’ll have a Korean phone?” Tom panders to my nationalistic tendencies only when he wants to buy electronics. I remembered him doing the same thing five years ago, when he was making a play for a 54″ flatscreen that promised to overpower our living room and wrestle it into submission. “Yoona, it’s an LG. It’s Korean!! Aren’t you happy we’ll have a Korean TV?”

A month ago, Tom came home with his iPhone, screen shattered. Did he shatter it himself with a hammer, in a moment of frustration? Perhaps. He says he dropped it. We were a month away from the end of our contract. He did his best to hang in, but I felt bad when he started getting bloody cuts on his fingers from the glass.

At the Verizon store, he ran to the Samsung Galaxy 4S on display. “Excuse me,” he said, loudly, to a passing salesperson. “I need to get this phone off this cord so I can feel it in my hand.” The four customers waiting in line before us looked incredulous. I started looking at a tablet and pretended I was shopping alone. It was no use. “Yoona!,” Tom shouted, from across the store. “Yoona!!!” Shit, people were starting to look. The jig was up. “Come here!! Look! It is so cool!!!”

I walked over to see Tom holding a phone that was approximately the size of a paperback novel. It even seemed like Tom couldn’t get his huge mitt comfortably around the thing. “Isn’t it a little big?,” I asked. “No, no, no,” Tom answered. “It’s perfect. Perfect for reading documents.” Right. I started to ask more questions but Tom had already run over to the accessories display to pick out his phone cover. He grabbed a hot pink OtterBox. “I need one of these in case my phone gets wet. Patrick has one. So does Andy.” Patrick is a chef and has his phone near liquids all the time. Andy fishes most days. The most liquid Tom’s phone was apt to get near was a double Americano. Still, it felt cruel to deflate Tom’s excitement.

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After our phones were procured, we left for a weekend with our friends Jess and Brett, at their mountain cabin. On the ride up, I watched from the driver’s seat as Tom continually used his finger to scroll past the same screen, showing a hot air balloon, on his new phone. It was clear that Tom had no idea what to do with his new phone, or how to get past the hot air balloon. I couldn’t resist baiting him. “So what do you like about your new phone?,” I asked. “Everything,” Tom replied, his tone warning me not to press.

“Like what, specifically?,” I asked. Tom looked annoyed. “Well, like how big it is.” I waited for Tom to continue. “And how pink it is.” Technically, he was talking about his phone cover, but I didn’t have the heart to correct him, because by now he was doing a spot-on imitation of Steve Carrell’s character in Anchorman (“I love…lamp“), and I was really enjoying the show.

“Also, I love my OtterBox,” Tom said. He looked at me as if daring me to respond. He must have been provoked by my general demeanor, because suddenly, he came out with fists swinging. “I don’t even know why you got a new iPhone. Apple sends all their money to Ireland. They don’t even pay taxes.” I’d poked the bear and it was poking back! I swallowed my retort that he’d had an iPhone until five hours ago, and let it lie.

Tom’s new phone promises to provide delights in the weeks and months to come. Will Tom use the clip-on belt holder in public, for example. How long will he continue to refer to it as “my Precious,” for another. I may report back.

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43 Comments Post a comment
  1. farah #

    I just read this, laughed aloud and wanted to tell you how much I love your posts about Tom’s travails. How’s his new phone working out for him? My _11_ year old got a very similar Otter case (bright orange — so actually, _very_ similar) that’s he’s already ditched bc it’s so much of a hassle.

    October 24, 2013
    • i found a ten minute video on tom’s phone of tom on his morning drive, because he apparently turned the camera on and didn’t realize it. a lot of his suit-clad armpit but there was much to enjoy in that video, until he deleted it. so i’d say his mastery of his galaxy S4 is an ongoing challenge

      October 24, 2013
  2. How is the battery life on the S4? I have been an avid Iphone user for years, I switched to an S3 when it had came out a couple years ago and loved it but the battery would die within a few hours because the screen was so large and sucked it down so much! I love the ability to be able to customize things as my own and that was one thing that phone offered that the iphone couldn’t. I am currently back to using an iPhone 5 running the beta version of the new iOS 7 upgrade. It’s very nice and user friendly but i think it may be a turn off for some men as it is very feminine and bright 🙂 Happy trails to your husband as a new owner of the S4…please let me know how it compares 🙂

    August 14, 2013
  3. Michele #

    Clearly the new phone helps to see into the future. Is Finn 10 in this photo??

    August 14, 2013
  4. Andy M #

    You probably don’t care about this anymore, but the trial I juror-ed for is finished. It was a misdemeanor DUI and we found him guilty. We deliberated for all of 15 mins. You know you’re in trouble when your defense attorney begins with “He only had six glasses…”

    Despite that it was incredibly interesting, and I still feel horrible. I now know that I am terrible at having to dole out punishment. My children are going to be the worst.

    August 14, 2013
    • Believe it or not, this very morning I considered replying to your last comment to ask how the trial went. I agree that if that’s how the defense attorney started, it wasn’t going to end well for the perp, regardless of who was on the jury. So you are absolved!

      August 14, 2013
      • Andy M #

        The best part was the juror orientation video, made in approximately the Mesozoic era. I have expected the voiceover to warn us they take crime in the California Territory just as seriously as in the 30 states (This IS a post-Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo world we’re living in, after all). I swear I’ve seen daguerreotypes of more recent vintage.

        August 14, 2013
      • do you have a blog? you should. i’d read it

        August 14, 2013
    • Ok, so I started and stopped a blog like a quadrillion times. You’ve inspired me to give it another go. No pressure or anything. It’s very bare bones at the moment.

      August 17, 2013
  5. My parents too have iPhones with AT&T, and they have similar problems in their home with dropped calls and no signal. They bought some fancy device that you hook up and it’s supposed to make the signal clearer and more powerful, but it doesn’t seem to help. I wouldn’t go that route.

    August 14, 2013
    • this sounds like an involved workaround. it’s a phone company! your phone should work!!!

      August 14, 2013
  6. I am a total Luddite when it comes to phones – I’ve been smug because I managed a different tone for calls vs. texts. That may all change soon – the Hub is looking to offload his current iPhone4 on me (he states I “need” it) but I’m convinced it is mostly because he wants an excuse to get a 5. Unfortunately the carrier won’t matter – our reception at home is notoriously awful unless we go stand in one particular corner of the back yard (on one leg facing East as it turns out). I suppose I’ll be that last person still using a flipphone otherwise. But that’s fine by me – inadequate and damned proud of it!

    August 14, 2013
    • i know there’s probably a reason for this but it seems like connections at the house get spottier every time we add a new device. i probably need to get a new modem. it is scary to think that we live under all those currents and frequencies

      August 14, 2013
  7. I have AT&T, too. They stink but since my hubs and I have had iPhones for at least four years, we are grandfathered into the better data plan. The device does stink!

    August 14, 2013
    • i had unlimited data on AT&T but i never had service fast enough to actually use it, so it was kind of a moot point

      August 14, 2013
  8. I’m from Nigeria and I’ve been following your blog for a while now. Always fun to read! Your husband and kids are so adorable! I love how Tom tries to get you on his side with. “Its Korean! Aren’t you happy I’ll have a Korean…” It’s hilarious!

    August 13, 2013
    • i read your comment this morning and told tom i had a reader in nigeria. pretty awesome. thanks for reading!

      August 14, 2013
  9. We’re a divided house over here too my fiancé is HTC all the way. He’s a computer geek and apparently Apple is some dominatrix force trying to control us all…

    August 13, 2013
    • it’s pretty interesting how apple polarizes. i love the iphone but i bought a macbook and then returned it because i had no idea how to make it do anything. it didn’t have word on it, or anything else i could use. very pretty though

      August 14, 2013
  10. I love my iPhone 5 too and as a great comparison I actually have two, one for my personal phone and one for work. My personal phone is with Verizon and I have fantastic reception but my work phone is At&T and it drops calls constantly. I can hold them side by side and compare bars… Happy with Verizon and happy with my iPhone. 🙂 Well worth the extra money to have a phone that works when you need it!

    August 13, 2013
  11. We suffer randomly and my husband has threatened to leave AT&T but not sure could give up the iphone.

    August 13, 2013
    • i just love the iphone camera. i’ve heard the one on the samsung is great but…

      August 14, 2013
  12. I’ve considered making the switch to an Android phone, but have stopped for a variety of reasons. Chief among them, operating system updates, or lack thereof. Apple has Android over a barrel when it comes to consistent OS upgrades. You are at the carriers mercy when it comes to receiving updates for Android (unless you purchase the phones unlocked from the Google Play store…but then they are full price), and Verizon is notorious for being behind the other carriers in this department. Why are OS updates important? There is a Master Key hack that is floating around for Android which Google has repaired but not all the carriers have released. Tom should stick exclusively to the Google Play store for apps, and download a malware scan app for his new phone. You, on the other hand, have nothing to worry about. You chose…wisely.

    August 13, 2013
    • jesus, matthew. you IT people are worse at fear-mongering than FOX News. am i completely panicked that i’ve received 20 receipts in the past hour for apps tom has downloaded from amazon? not at all, why do you ask

      August 13, 2013
      • Hey, it’s called job security, and I make no excuses for it. That said, you only get away with comparing me to Fox News because a) I know you and b) I am not your current IT guy :).

        August 13, 2013
  13. Lord I love your blog! (Stories involving Tom are usually my favorites). I love the look on his face as he stares at his phone, and the shoes rock.

    August 13, 2013
    • tom likes to tell people “it’s about me” when people ask what my blog is about

      August 13, 2013
  14. I LOVE your blog. Some day it will need to be a book I can cart around on my ipad. I keep bugging people to read your blog. Oh you’ll LOVE it. Trust me! You and Tom usually make my day. Thanks!

    August 13, 2013
    • thanks so much. i really dig it when people share me.

      August 13, 2013
  15. Love it! We just traded in our iphones for Galaxy S4’s. Hubby has white I have black. I have this weird black and white, light and dark, chess thing going on. ( irrelevant, I know). Anyway, I feel Tom’s pain… hubby has it all figured out whether Ios or Android. Tom sound a lot like Jace(hubby) with electronics.

    August 13, 2013
    • he’s not competent with electronics. but i assume you mean that he and jace both get excited about electronics

      August 13, 2013
  16. omg I’m dying. My brother told me I had to start following your blog, and thank God I did. Tom is awesome. Was pink the only color available?

    August 13, 2013
    • no, no. he loves pink, always has. had a pink blackberry in the age of blackberries. i’m so glad your brother led you here. and tom is indeed awesome

      August 13, 2013
  17. I hate AT&T too but I’ve been with them for so long it’s hard to leave. And isn’t Verizon considerably expensive? Do you love your iPhone 5?

    August 13, 2013
    • i haven’t gotten my first bill yet but the estimates put it at about $20 higher than our AT&T plan. i DO love my iphone 5! it appears to communicate better with my car, and also it understands my ham-handed texting better

      August 13, 2013
      • I’m sure the$20 is worth the better reception. It’s worth checking out when our contracts come up for renewal. Hope Tom is enjoying his Android. I had the second gen iPhone then went to android and now I’m back to an iPhone. In my experience I love iPhones user friendly OS, Android is not as user friendly.

        August 13, 2013
  18. OK, I’ve upset you in the past by agreeing wtih Tom, but I’m not switching to Android. I have no interest in trying to figure out my music library and I don’t think I can get some of those others in my pocket. They’re the size of Buicks. Besides, rumor has it that new iPhone will be available in GOLD tone! All over that. (That said, I am digging his shoes, though)

    August 13, 2013
    • SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. GOLD???? my signature color, natch

      August 13, 2013
      • Yeah! I’ve been trying to tell people it’s coming back, but they won’t believe me. Have seen more watches nad jewelry with it. What do you think?

        Please say yes – our new house is filled with polished brass and I have no desire to swap them all out. I figure if I wait a little…

        http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2422971,00.asp

        August 13, 2013
    • i’d gild everything if i could. i am wearing an awesomely bad gold casio watch today. i bought some gold clogs and am so excited to wear them in the fall. they are so ugly that they are fabulous. hang onto that polished brass dude

      August 13, 2013

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