A cell phone keeps the romance alive in this household

By Lori Clinch

I wouldn’t exactly say I am addicted to my cell phone, but I do feel the incessant need to keep it handy.

I often check my pocket to make sure it’s there and if I see it’s low on battery life, I all but break out into a cold sweat. I mean, whatever would I do if one of our sons needed me and I wasn’t available?

Still, I follow social etiquette when it comes to the device. I don’t text during a face-to-face conversation. I don’t use Messenger during dinner or Facebook in church, and I do my all-out best to not have a loud and personal conversation on the phone while I’m browsing the local grocer’s freezer.

That said, I do love having my cell phone. I can look up facts and statistics, easily check my email and keep in touch with all four of our sons via a family text.

I use my cell phone for directions, shopping lists and to check the daily forecast.  More importantly, I thank heavens I have something to remind me why I’m on the corner of 5th and Jeffers.

On the polar opposite of the cell phone obsession is my beloved spouse. I think the only reason he has a cell phone is because I made him have a cell phone many years ago. Although he didn’t really see the need for the device, I grew tired of loading up the children and driving across town to tell him that his concrete was going to be late or that the guy at the lumberyard had a question about his order for OSB sheeting.

Not only that, but it certainly made it handy for me to give him a short grocery list of things to pick up on the way home.

Not being one to text or to use Facebook, Pat has the simplest of phones, his beloved flip phone. Nothing fancy there. Yet, he has many requirements of this device. Being a builder who works in the elements, his phone needs to be tough as nails. It needs to be sand proof, waterproof, crush proof, and be able to withstand being buried alongside a new tree. (We enjoyed quite a chuckle when we heard the ground ring.)

Pat’s phone needs to be transported, via jeans pocket, and be able to share its space with no less than 15 nails, a couple of screws and at least two wing nuts. If moisture is a problem, then it should come with its own little raincoat that does not require actually putting it on the device.

No coddling up in here.

If it could figure out, all by its ownsie, how to answer itself and respond to unwanted phone calls with some sense of decorum, that would be awesome. Oh, and this is the most important thing of all, (if only Pat’s dream could come true) this phone should be free.

It doesn’t need to connect to the Internet, because Pat has no need for it. He loves technology, don’t get me wrong, he simply wants others to do it for him. He’s like someone who doesn’t like cars, but always wants a ride.

I wouldn’t mind it so much if the stuff he had me looking into was the least bit entertaining, but it’s not. Unless, of course, you find power tools intriguing.

The other night, just after dinner, Pat seemed to be lost in thought. Then he gently placed a warm hand on mine and said, “Get on your Google machine and look up a control box for a JLG Scissor lift, would ya?”

Although the moment sang of love and emotion, it was nothing compared to the time when he asked me to find a replacement window for his beloved backhoe.

Yes sir, romance is alive and well here in the Clinch household.

Pat oftentimes has me use my precious phone to look up addresses, research kick-off times and even to text his clientele.

Lucky for Pat, I always have my phone in hand and at the ready. Still, I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to the darn thing, but I think perhaps that Pat is.

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her by sending an email to loriclinch2010@gmail.com.