In the Verizon store this weekend I learned more than I ever wanted to about phones (and the neighborhood between Long Island and New York City). I'm not sure where I was when the cell phone became the new accessory of the season, on par with a hand bag or pair of peep-toe ankle booties. But as I stood number 18 in line (to replace my husband's phone from 2006, and only because the screen finally cracked), I realized that all the people ahead of me were trading up for flashier, newer, shinier cell phones.
As my name neared the top of the list I grew even more impatient and crowded closer to the counter, as if that might speed up the woman being helped. By time I was called, I had spent sufficient time surveying the phones strapped into cradles and held in place by anti-theft devices to have developed a small craving for the new Blackberry. (Don't ask me about the iPhone, I can't understand a touch screen, I cannot navigate applications that replace human thought and can count the calories in your sandwich as you chew, and I despise AT&T). Though my Blackberry worked perfectly fine, it was gray, dull, and its buttons had faded. The new model came in the feminine fall favorite, lavender, and fit snugly into my hand like a perfectly molded appendage. After we had negotiated a nearly free phone to replace my husband's 4 year old flip, I grabbed the purple accessory and slipped it across the counter. My husband shook his head as the salesman looked pleased to ring another item. With a $100 mail in rebate, my new accessory cost much less than a new Miu Miu tote, and will probably get more use.