The iPhone: Frodo’s Modern-Day Ring

My husband gave me a present on the eve of Father’s Day.

“I have something fun for us to do tonight,” he said as I snuggled down into the covers with the girls.  8 p.m. a blissful bedtime.  (yes, I am loads of fun.)

I opened one eye.  “How fun?”

“You’ll see,” he sang-song.

“Will I have to use my brain?”


“I’m tired,” I whine. anything to get me out of health saving account planning or ew, a summer budget.

He shrugged to let me know I’d be the one missing out.
“How long will it take?”

“About an hour.”

Hmmm.  How fun could this be?

“Tell me!”

An hour later, curiosity pushed me down the stairs and stumbled me onto the couch.

He was like a kid on Christmas morning.  Slowly, he handed me a cardboard box.  “This is for you.”

Happy clap!  Presents!  This is fun.

Inside the cardboard box was a black box.

And inside the black box was an iphone 5.
Husband of mine was grinning from ear to ear. 

Let us pause a moment and say I would probably not know what the internet was if it weren’t for my husband.  I would probably still be using a phone with a curly-cue cord.  Technology tends to be over my head and so I stay scared and ignorant of it.

When Gregor starts talking about “routers” and “gigabytes” I’m likely to break out into a cold sweat.  When he wants to browse the Verizon store I start snoring.

I am always behind.  A couple of years ago I called my brothers and said, “There’s this really cool thing on the internet called Facebook and if you sign up we can be friends and talk and post pictures and stuff!”

Long pause.

“Uh, yeah…we’re on Facebook – like two years ago!”  And they laughed themselves silly.  I am left to wonder why I never got a friend request in all those 730 days.

I have been using my little dumb phone (if that isn’t brilliantly annoying marketing I don’t know what is) for a good long time.

It was driving my husband crazy.  Yes, not me crazy, my husband.

I am married to the man who loves all things technology.  My ineptitude is like a personal insult aimed right at his heart.  His great aptitude does work to my benefit when I cry AT the computer for being so obtuse.  And then he will slowly push a button and it works perfectly.  “That’s what I did!” I’ll cry.  Smug-smile.

My perfectly good dumb phone was driving him crazy because it was old and because I had dropped it in a rain storm and miraculously found it (God is good and must be often annoyed…it’s her again – she lost something ELSE!)  but the rain ruined the text feature and I couldn’t see the messages I was typing.  It was like braille.  Kind of.

iPhone.  Game changer.

I read that there are more iPhones than toothbrushes.  Which has to be a flat-out lie, as everyone I know has a toothbrush and not everyone has an iPhone.  Or maybe I’m still behind on the times.

But then.  Gregor placed it in my hand and I immediately felt the power.  I became Frodo carrying the ring.  When Cope came into the room she gasped, looked at me enviously, inched her way over to me.  Ever so carefully she took it out of my hand…

my precious she said in her best Gollum voice.  me wants it, me needs it…  

“Give it back!” I snatched it and held it close to my chest.  She limped away, wounded, watching it a coveted way…

iPhone training began.  If you need a visual, it was like me teaching Paige how to read.  “la, la, la, la…look at the first letter…sound it out.  Okay, what comes next?  La-la-lamp – Good girl!”

“Turn it on,” Gregor said in his patient teacher voice.  “That big button.  Good girl!”


“Next,” he whispered.

And so I began the discovery.

He did some fancy typing and now, with the tap of my finger I can check email – I don’t even have to log in!  I can SEE the text messages I write and the entire stream before.  

Internet, blog posts and oh my gosh – the weather!  It’s all there.  If I knew what a stock was, I could check.  I took that app off. 

Everything is stored in this cloud thing.  I don’t know exactly where the cloud is but it follows me and lets me put things in it.

Google Calendar for family and personal was set up.  At the orthodontist I didn’t have to scribble down an appointment and shove it in my purse or call them back later – I put it in the phone.  “Would you like a card?” they asked.

“No thanks,” I said with a smile and an iPhone wave.  it’s all here!  

Now my husband has to share his friend, Siri, with me.  She talks to me and gets me places with a GPS that’s right on THE PHONE.

Instead of wandering down Route 4 or Route 11 or Route 4A or the old Route 4A by the big white house past the goat farm next to the old apple orchard, I just follow the little voice in my head…make a right hand turn.  NOW.

When I told Siri she was my best friend she said, “Thank you.  I would like to be your friend.”
Grocery lists

Packing lists


And this amazing device takes PICTURES.

“Look at this,” Gregor said, “You can take notes instead of having all your little pieces of paper and lists all over the place.” Ah-ha!  You see, this really was a present for him!  He was looking so pleased – Amy would finally be organized!

Now I can even send reminders to myself like children starving – buy milk.
Finally, at 11 p.m, the roller coaster iPhone training high was beginning to crash.  “I’m tired now.”

“Focus,” Gregor said. 

“Can I get a case?” I asked.  “A pink glitter one?”

“Here,” he said, googling…I just never knew what a big business this really was.

We picked out a case.  It’s a rather classy sea-green.

I gazed at the phone.  “This,” I said.  “Is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Gregor smiled.  Had he ever looked so happy? Maybe our wedding? Maybe?  “I’m just so glad you’ve jumped into the 21st century,” he said.

I went to bed, my hand wrapped around the ring phone, a smile on my face.
The next few nights involved more iphone training.  “There’s a whole bunch of things we need to talk about,” he said.
I laughed.

“I’m serious.”

Yes, Sir.

For instance, there are banned activities such as:  No throwing phone in purse.  It could get scratched!  He brought me home a screen protector because I cannot be trusted.  No children allowed on phone.  Ha.  They’ve become my personal assistants.

The day after that he brought me home this arm band so I can stream music from itunes or Pandora.  And there’s a Nike app that tracks mileage, pace, and distance.  He suggested I could use my phone instead of my beloved Garmin.  WHAT???
We talked about data usage versus Wi-Fi.
It’s been a week.  It’s still the coolest thing ever.  I’m on a steep learning curve.  Gregor is talking about Evernote.  And sending me links to apps like the Pomodoro Technique.  Yes, a little red tomato is going to make Amy so productive!

What’s the best app you have?  Please Tell! 
Now I understand.  All those articles about moms addicted to their iPhones.  Now I get the addiction.  I GET IT.  Who ever needs to look up again?
I’ve had to impose personal boundaries.  Like turning off the dings and whistles for email alerts.  The temptation is so powerful…

my precious…

This isn’t an iPhone advertisement.  I don’t think.  Maybe it is.  My life has changed.  I think for the better.

Perhaps you are like my brothers.  Laughing.  Perhaps the iPhone was so two years ago for you.  But don’t rain on my parade.  It just takes me awhile to come around to such things.  Who knows, maybe next year I’ll get a Kindle. 

Oh – one last thing.  Have you heard of this thing called Instagram????  If you haven’t seen it, it’s like totally awesome.  Dude.

P.S.  For Father’s Day, Gregor got socks and Cream Soda.


17 thoughts on “The iPhone: Frodo’s Modern-Day Ring

  1. Kirsten Smith

    That was me a year ago except with a samsung galaxy 3. Can not live without it! So many helpful things for mommies! I wanted the iphone but got a samsung because I wanted the same phone Gregg got so he could teach me. Love the way you write!

  2. Eric Nelson

    Ha, this is hilarious. I still remember your giddy 2010 email informing us of this incredible new website that had put you in contact with (gasp) three old high school friends! I believe Patrick’s response was: “Earth to Amy – facebook is so two years ago. The rest of the world joined about the years ago.” I join with Gregor in welcoming you to the 21st century.

  3. Eric Nelson

    Ha, this is hilarious. I still remember your giddy 2010 email informing us of this incredible new website that had put you in contact with (gasp) three old high school friends! I believe Patrick’s response was: “Earth to Amy – facebook is so two years ago. The rest of the world joined about the years ago.” I join with Gregor in welcoming you to the 21st century.

  4. Melissa Sarno

    This may be my favorite post that you’ve ever written here. So awesome. I have an iPhone but in the short time you’ve had it, I think you’ve learned more than I have. I basically just check my email and the weather on it.

  5. Andrea

    Savannah and I are reading “The World is Flat” by Thomas Freidman. It talks about these same things, and makes me really feel like a dinosaur — where have I been as the world has been changing! But this post was so much better than that book — we’re struggling to finish before we head to Arizona for some fun!

  6. Julia Tomiak

    Yay Amy! I got my iPhone a year ago and I LOVE it. Totally my precious. My hubby has one too. Yes to Evernote- great for writers. I use it constantly. I also love the Camera + app- a great way to take and edit photos, especially for blog posts! I’m using the Pinterest app a lot these days too- to pin your recipes!
    Don’t you just love dictating emails?
    My only complaint- I wish Siri sounded like Robert Pattinson. Maybe the next phone…

  7. Magnolia Verandah

    My goodness this sounds just like me. I resisted for so long until I got one of my daughters hand me down iPhones and I am hooked. I love have the camera everywhere too. I don’t have Siri though.


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