If you are a regular follower of my blog, and not just someone who got here by Googling “Kelle Hampton annoying,” then you may remember when I accidentally murdered my beloved Blackberry (http://mrsodie2.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/cutting-the-electronic-cord/). Since I was too much of a bonehead to have purchased the insurance, and we weren’t due for a phone update on our contract for over a year, I couldn’t afford to buy a new one. I can’t believe it’s been over four months. I thought this would be an excellent opportunity for me to curb my addiction to technology, but it didn’t work out that way. I never stopped missing my Blackberry. My sister offered to buy me a new one, but I couldn’t take advantage of her generosity. I believed there would come a time when I could either afford a new one, or I would just make do without, like I have been. It has sucked, I won’t lie. Even in a practical way. I never remember to check my email when I don’t get it on my phone and so I missed some bill pay alerts, resulting in a lower credit score. One thing I did NOT need. We really have to buy a car in the upcoming months. Another damn thing we can barely afford. But I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to get pissy about what I can’t have. Okay, I’m not going to STAY pissy.
I don’t believe that God would send me a new Blackberry, so I didn’t bother to pray for one. I think many people do pray for material things, and then when they get them, they think, “God is great!” I just don’t see God as a deity who is like, “Sorry, people dying of cholera in Haiti, I need to go handle this Blackberry thing.” I also don’t think Jesus is overseeing who wins on “Survivor.” Because if he were, Matt would’ve had a heads up on that blind side.
I try to remember to be grateful for all that I have. Sometimes, this is very difficult, as I am spoiled. I was born in the seventies, to a working dad and a stay-at-home mom. My father has always been very successful, but when he was working to support a family of five on his salary alone, that hard work did not translate into an affluent lifestyle. When my parents divorced, he had to pay two rents (his own and my mother’s) plus child support, so that stretched his paychecks even thinner. But looking back, I never felt like we were poor. We had a tiny house that we rented, but I was tiny, so it never bothered me. In fact, I never even knew what “wealth” was until we moved to Winnetka, Illinois.
One of my school friends lived on such a large property, that it took us five minutes to bike up her driveway to the mansion (which she called “the main house”). Once inside, the full-time maid fixed us lunch. I was in fifth grade at that time, and up till then, I had been clueless as to why the other kids made fun of my clothes, my mom’s Volkswagon bus, and my bicycle. Seeing their shiny Volvos, Izod shirts, and live-in maids, I learned that by their standards, my family didn’t have much money and that made me inferior.
In junior high, I remember sitting with a group of “friends” at lunch while a girl named Elizabeth bragged that everything in her closet was either Guess or Esprit. As if this were something she had accomplished and had a right to brag about. Congratulations on the random luck of being born into a wealthy family! We had moved to California by then, but my parents rented a home in an affluent community in order to send us to better schools than where we’d have to go if they bought in a neighborhood they could afford. I got a great education, and I now teach in that same school district. But for a long time, I felt the difference between renters and owners. And I actually have followed in my parents’ footsteps, currently renting in a town where I couldn’t even afford to buy a one-bedroom condo. California real estate is insane. I must get out of this stinking state.
Oh, wait, I just looked out the window… Another perfect, sunny day in the sixties.
But… gratitude. Yes, humility. I feel fortunate. I don’t need a Blackberry.
As luck would have it, though, I’m getting one. A friend of a family member is so rich, she decided to get a new phone because her Blackberry wasn’t optimal to play Angry Birds. Hurray for rich, generous people who love games! Blessings be unto you all! So she gave the phone to my family member, who is generously handing it over to me (they’re Iphone people in that house). All I have to pay for is the activation fee and the monthly service. To counterbalance this cost, we are getting rid of the gym membership we never use. In fact, we’ll even come out twenty bucks ahead on the deal. I am absolutely giddy.
Time to repair all of my lapsed text relationships. And my credit score.