Being a mom makes you do crazy things. And whether you’re a mom or not, you know it’s true.
Some moms give up Diet Coke (gasp!) or Swedish Fish or caffeine or red meat. Some trade in their favorite Lululemon capris for a pair from Athleta because the mommy blogs include them on their “must have” lists. Some surprise their families after visits to their own versions of “A Cut Above” and show up at dinner with new styles, a new color, or…drumroll please…bangs.
Over the years, I did all of that and then some (I’ve subsequently burned every picture of me with the bangs). But this year I committed the ultimate as far as crazy goes.
My husband and I, our three teenage daughters, and our 85-pound boxer drove 19 hours from Long Island down to South Florida. It was nuts. I know. But here’s the REAL nutty part:
When I took over the driver’s seat for a few hours to relieve my tired husband, I asked him to “manage” my phone.
Knowing that a few mid-day hours away from my personal cyberworld would give me oodles of “catch-up”, I willfully handed over my fifth appendage, my lifeline, my real bae, to my husband of twenty years. He happily agreed to serve as my iPhone assistant while I captained the ship and covered a few hundred miles. Poor guy had no idea what was in store for him.
By the time we pulled out of the WaWa lot, the buzzing began. And my husband took his job seriously.
Him: “Honey – Stacy texted and wants to know if you’ve tried the new Dunkin’ flavor ice coffee. She says it’s amazing.”
Me: “Write ‘OMG (make sure you write O-M-G)! I haven’t but I can’t wait to try it when we get home!!’ And remember when you answer for me that I like two exclamation points at the end of everything.”
I turned to him with a smile and was greeted by his well-practiced, ages-old “I’m not smiling” side-eye.
Him: “Wait. Poshmark just popped up. You got a bid on your Lululemon camo Wunder Under High Rise hardly ever worn leggings. Wow – you’re selling those for $60? People actually want to BUY your used leggings? That’s disgusting. What do I do now? You should definitely accept this bid. But seriously…do they know you worked OUT in those?”
Giddy with excitement, (because other than foot-long-coupon-filled CVS receipts, few things are as exciting as a Poshmark offer), I directed him to accept the bid and we both felt great about one less item in my closet and $60 more in my pocket.
Within seconds, however, I heard a familiar sound emanating from my phone and I felt his glare across the center console.
Him: “Now you have a $30 Venmo request from someone named Dan StrongNFit. Who’s Dan StrongNFit and why do you owe him $30?”
Me (sooo regretting the phone handover decision): “You know…Dan. The guy who does Zoom bootcamp classes on Saturday mornings. I mean…you have to know that his classes aren’t FREE!”
Him: “Ummm…don’t we pay for our Peloton? And aren’t there like 5,000 classes you can take on that app? For FREE? Why did we even GET the Peloton if you’re paying for other classes? Are we MADE of money? Do you remember we have three daughters in college?? Blah…blah…blah…”
My phone picked up my subliminal SOS (we’re so close that it can read my mind) and interrupted with its familiar ping, ping, buzz.
Him: “Three more things just came up. Jen texted and she ALSO wants to know if you know about the Dunkin’ new coffee flavor. Are your friends for REAL? And you have an email from your dad asking about next Thanksgiving. And it looks like Isaac Boots is going live on Instagram. Seriously, Wendy. How do you do this all day? What should I do first?”
Before I could answer, he continued (with a sigh much heavier than the occasion called for):
Him: “Uh oh…Jenn Sherman Peloton and Dr. Pimple Popper are also ‘going live’ right now. Do you actually join all of these live things? How do you have time for anything else? Does Dr. Pimple Popper actually….POP PIMPLES LIVE???? I might throw up. And you have an Instagram message from YogaNamastAmy about a class tomorrow morning asking if you want the Zoom link. What should I answer?”
I began to guide him when he interrupted…again.
Him: “And…a ‘Drink Water’ message just popped up. WENDY!!! You mean to tell me you need your phone to tell you when you’re thirsty? Do you PAY for this reminder?”
Question after question…my “secret cell phone life” exposed. The head-spinning onslaught of buzzes, beeps, and pings that all make sense to me didn’t quite make sense to him. Familiar to me are the sounds of a Snap, a text, an email, an Instagram live, a “get up and move” reminder, a Twitter update, a Facebook tag, and a weather alert. They’re my own secret language. Yet to the stranger handling my phone, they’re the equivalent of me trying to understand my daughter’s explanation of how to solve a quadratic formula.
My eyes caught a glimpse of the rearview mirror and my heart skipped a beat. My three daughters and dog were all sleeping peacefully in the backseat like a scene from a movie. And what does a mom do when she sees perfection? She photographs it! But not this mom whose job it was to concentrate on the road ahead. I couldn’t do it alone.
ME: “ANDY! Stop right now and turn around to look at the backseat!! Take this picture! Hurry!! Before one of them moves. And snap like ten or twenty so we make sure we get a good one. Try it with AND without the flash. Finally, I’ll have a fun holiday card picture!!”
With eyes bulging out of his head, he looked at me like I had completely lost my mind and begrudgingly turned around and snapped a few (photo credit to Andy if you get a holiday card from us).
We made it into South Carolina and it was finally my turn to hop back over to the passenger seat and reunite with my beloved device. I reviewed my husband’s handiwork and saw that he took some liberties…texted his dad the pictures he took of our girls, asked my contact “BFFFFF Ilana” if she wanted to meet me in NamastAmy’s yoga class tomorrow, changed my home screen to a picture of his socks. He also took it upon himself to rave (a bit excessively, I might add) about the new Dunkin’ coffee flavor to the forty plus people in my “AEPHI SISTAS FROM THE GOOD OLE’ DAYS” group chat.
And I laughed. Because to him, my connected life might really seem absurd. And he laughed, too. Because he KNOWS it is.
It was my turn to manage HIS phone while he drove…he thought that might be fun. What a snore. One text from his dentist’s office confirming his cleaning on Friday and a spam email about the price of Bitcoin. I mean…is HE kidding??! For hours I waited for something else to pop up…not even a tweet. Men are from Mars…
I can’t say I’ll hand over my phone again…I’ll suffer through the time it takes for me to clean up my unattended phone. And I also don’t recommend it to any of you mommies out there. Find another mommy “crazy” thing to do. Go for the bangs. Go for the Athleta leggings. But DON’T give him your phone. That’s crazy that will follow you forever!!