Poopsie is now in her golden years, considering the purchase of some orthotic shoes, a girdle, and possibly a cane. Her eyelids are sagging and her knees are creaking. The high-waisted pants at Lands End are looking better and better with each passing season.
(Actually Poopsie’s in her late 30s, but to hear Beanie describe the situation you would imagine Poopsie to have one foot tentatively aimed toward the grave.)
Beanie is an entire twelve years of age, plus a few weeks. She feels quite grown up and quite ready for her own cell phone. She has started haranguing Poopsie for her own cell phone multiple times each day. Sometimes even before breakfast, the child starts in on her “needs.”
Poopsie is not in agreement. Of course, Poopsie came of age in the 1980s, when things like texting and the internet were imaginary, like unicorns. She grew up in a house with a phone that weighed five pounds and sat on a desk like a lead ball. A twirly cord attached the handset to the base, and a long wire carried voices from the base to the wall and then into infinity.
Poopsie has offered to get Beanie her very own landline for the house. She’s pointed out that twirly cords are fun and heavy phones are exciting.
Beanie doesn’t think this is funny.
“What if I need to text someone?” Beanie cried just this morning.
“You are twelve. TWELVE. You don’t need to text anyone.”
“What if I’m at a friend’s house and they’re doing drugs? I might need to call you!”
“Do you have friends who are doing drugs? Because if you do, they aren’t your friends anymore.”
“No. I don’t have any friends who are doing drugs. But what if I do?”
“You’re TWELVE. TWELVE YEARS OLD.”
And with this Poopsie made a waving motion with her hand that translated as “Bring this up one more time today and I will go sit in a closet until your father comes home and deals with you.”
But the truth of the matter is that Poopsie kind of understands. She was just about this age when she started harassing her own father for a phone of her own. She wore G-Pa down to a nub until he finally gave in and put the dang phone in her bedroom. But there were a few key differences there:
- Grand Pa was actually a telephone man by trade. It took him a few minutes and a few bucks of supplies to silence the squawking from his oldest child. Minutes well spent, frankly.
- Poopsie purchased her very own phone with her very own money. If memory serves, it was a slim-line model with see-through plastic and colorful cords on the inside. Very techy.
- The addition of Poopsie’s phone didn’t cost the family any extra money. The phone company didn’t care if we had 2 or 2,000 phones hooked up in that dang house. And since Poopsie didn’t know anyone outside the 673 code, she didn’t run the risk of long distance charges. “Texting overages” were a not-thing in 1989.
This is not the case with a phone for Beanie. G-pa the phone man and his wires are useless here. The phone Beanie wants will cost many dollars up front and monthly charges thereafter. And the horror stories of reckless children texting their parents into bankruptcy linger in Poopsie’s mind.
But the offer still stands. If Beanie would like her very own slim-line see through phone, Poopsie will buy her one. And it can sit on her desk like a lead ball until Beanie is old enough to get her own job and pay for her own phone.
The end and Amen.