Friday, I lost my cell phone. . I was devastated by this. Not so much because I feel the need to surround myself with electronic gadgets, but because my cell phone is, literally, my lifeline to the outside world. All of my contact information is in it. Names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, and other information for all of my friends, family, and work associates are in it. My calendar, which includes dates such as test dates, appointments, dates, social events – everything I have organized and scheduled is in my cell phone. I thought, a few weeks ago, about backing up my information as I was completely surprised that I had kept a cell phone for 2 years now without misplacing it, but time passed, and it didn’t happen. So, after going through every location of where it had been (last used October 29th, see previous journal entry), including a failed attempt to communicate with a Spanish-speaking staff at a local Taqueria, I resigned myself to suspending my service and attempting to recollect 2 years of information I had amassed on my cell phone. Luckily, as I was quite stubborn about diving completely into the electronic device world, I had most of my older phone numbers and contact information written down on paper. However, I stopped this ritual about a year and a half ago, not too long after I first threw in the towel and purchased a cell phone. Everything from late 2005 on was a mystery – which, in my life as of right now, is a majority of what I utilize on a daily basis. It is amazing how, during certain periods of your life, you can dictate a shelf life on information, work, associates and surroundings. It seems that my average shelf life for associates, new friends, acquaintances and such is about 1-2 years (given my current dilemma as an example). It is also amazing how dependent you can become on a device that you didn’t even use a few years ago. The day I realize I had lost it, I immediately started trying to recall the numbers to certain people I needed to contact that day. A friend of mine was having a birthday/house-warming party, and I needed to call to get directions to her new home. My first task, however, prior to this was to locate a workable plug-in, land-line phone. I have local land-line service, but never use it. I no longer even have an answering machine at home, because all of my calls are routed through my cell phone. When I remembered her number, I realized that it was a long-distance call. I could not call her. The next person I thought to call, who was also going to the party that evening, was my sister. Alas, her number was also long-distance. Once again, I was out of luck. I then called my mom, who I hoped would be able to relay a few messages back and forth, and give out my home number to those who I needed to contact so they could call me. I also had her place a call to my cousin, whom I had been hanging out with when I lost my phone, to see if she had it in her car. Once I made that call, I decided to visit the areas we had been to in order to find out if I had left the phone anywhere in between.
My first stop was at a local Taqueria. Unfortunately, we had a language barrier between us, and I had a difficult time communicating that I lost my cell phone and thought it would be there. Since we were left in a state of ill communicado at the Taqueria, I went back home, but not before searching the parking grounds. When I arrived back home, I looked up the translations to a few phrases that may have helped me with communicating that I needed to find my cell phone, and placed a call to the Taqueria. When the person answered on the other end, I started stammering “I may have lost my cell phone at your restaurant” in proper Spanish, which translates to “Pude haber perdido mi teléfono de la célula en su restaurante,” which I had to repeat a few times in my improper diction, followed by a few “uno momento, por favors” so I could try to translate what they were telling me and give the proper answer. This led to the woman on the phone telling me to call back after 4, when the night shift arrived. So, I decided to hold on that, and to wait out the phone calls for anyone that I was trying to get in touch with. This was around 10 a.m. After about 4 hours, with only 1 call from my sister, letting me know the directions/locations to the party, I realized that there were things outside of the house that I needed to do. So, I left to run some errands, pick out gifts for the party and grab a bite to eat. In the meantime, my cousin had called me and, when nobody answered, called my mother to let her know she did not have my phone. After about an hour, after getting back from my errands, I decided to call my mom once again, where she relayed this information to me. It was now 5, and I needed to start getting ready for my friend’s party, at 6. I was also able to call back to the Taqueria, where a woman speaking English answered, and informed me that no phone had been turned in. My only other option, before giving up the hunt, was to check with the club we were at the previous night, which did not open until 7. Knowing that I am horrible with directions, and that I would likely get lost without being talked through the route beforehand, I decided to make my best attempt and try to make it to my friend’s house. I left at 6:15, and by 7:30, I gave up, turned around, and made a stop at the club to see if my phone had been turned in. It had not, so I gave up and went home. After I arrived home, around 8, my phone started ringing. It was my friend, who had been told of my mishap, and was wondering where I was. I explained everything, and she walked me through the directions (which I had failed to write down a single street. I was literally circling the block they lived on for half an hour before giving up). I finally made it to her house around 9 o’clock, three hours late, but to no surprise by anyone there. That night turned out to be okay, despite the stress of being cut off from the world, by the loss of a simple gadget. This morning, I got in touch with my cousin and, refusing to believe that my lifeline was lost forever, continued to plead with her to search her car. After a few searches and a few hours had gone by, we both gave up. I guess I will have to rely on my manual skills to piece my life back together again.