My phone hated me.  It crouched on my desk at work and rang at me when I was trying to eat lunch.  It ruthlessly followed me around in my car and rang at me right in the middle of my favorite song.  It glared at me from the coffee table in the evening and rang at me just as Big Love was starting.  Yep, my phone hated me, and I hated it right back.

So, you can understand why I was not sorry when my phone decided to cut its losses and move on two weeks ago during our family’s trip to the circus.  Or maybe it felt the hot whiteness of the arena lights, heard the roar of the crowd, smelled the sweat of the animals and thought, “By God, this is the life for me!” 

I don’t know, and I don’t care.  Whatever its reasons, I was glad it left.  Like I said, we were having problems and had been growing apart for months.  In fact, I was going to suggest that we see other people, but obviously my phone wanted a clean break.  This would have been fine with me except for the fact that the bastard did what countless I-can’t-live -like-this-anymore-so-see-ya ex’s have done before it – it took my stuff, man!

All my pictures of Eve, gone.  The ADORABLE videos I took of her, gone.  Gone, baby, gone.  How could my phone have done this to me?  Even John, one of the arena’s security guards, had no answers for me.  I kvetched with John every day for a week after my phone split town.   He was very nice and so sympathetic, even personally going down to the section where I was sitting and shining his little security-guard flashlight all around.  But even John had no explanation for why some phones do what they do. 

“Don’t worry, Mrs. Langston,” consoled John.  “Sometimes these phones turn up even weeks later.  Folks pick ’em up after events and then forget to turn ’em in.  You know how it is.  Maybe it’ll show up after all.”

I glumly shook my head.  My phone had ceaselessly irritated me, made my pockets all rumpley when I carried it and interrupted countless perfectly good trains of thought, only to finally take off with the damn circus while also absconding with all my irreplaceable memories.   It wasn’t coming back.

As the days passed, the bad feelings I had about my phone started to fade a little.  I began to remember all the good times.  I thought of the warm summer days we spent together, walking to the post office and listening to Motown on its little headphones.  I remembered how we played games together in my doctor’s waiting room.  I smiled when I realized that no matter how annoying my phone could be, it was always there for me when I needed it.  All the people I wanted to reach were only a phone call away.  And though it did steal all of them, the pictures it took turned out pretty well.

“Maybe my phone wasn’t so bad after all,” I sniffed, beginning to tear up a little.  “I…I…want it baaack!  I looove it!” I wailed.

Isn’t love funny?

However, no matter how much I wanted it, my phone was gone for good.  I guess it really never looks back, just like it said.  Luckily, I had insurance on it and was able to obtain a new phone, all bright and shiny.

(Incidentally, wouldn’t it be, like, totally awesome if we were able to flip this metaphor around the other way?  How cool would it be to take out insurance on your real-life boyfriends and girlfriends and then file claims on them when you break up? 

 Sorry.  It just occurred to me.  Anyway.)

So now I have a new phone, and I’m back where I started.  I hate it.  It’s just slightly different enough from my other phone so that I kind of know how to work all its various doohickies but not really.  I keep running into technical roadblocks, and I’ve had it less than twelve hours.  Calvin at the company’s support center, like John at the arena, lent a sympathetic ear, but how can you reason with someone who refuses to learn from her mistakes?  You can’t.   You just can’t.

Sigh.  I guess we all have our crosses to bear.  And I think mine just rang.