Monday, December 7, 2009

Old is the New New (huh?)

I have never understood the attraction of shopping the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) or the day after Christmas (does this one have a name?)  I just can't imagine a single appealing aspect to all of that frantic energy and the teeming crowds fueled by lack of sleep and an unsettling sense of entitlement.  People must be infected with some kind of deranged and overgrown case of the Gimmes for another human being to be trampled to death at a Walmart.  No "deal" that you can get could possibly be worth it.  As I have stated before - I would rather disembowel myself with a rusty spork and then set my intestines on fire than participate in that brand of madness.

But I'm not immune to the consumer culture that we live in.  My two-year cell phone plan expires in about eight days.  My phone is probably two years old.  I typically use less than 200 minutes per month.  I'm not a talker.  (I prefer to communicate through interpretive dance.)

But when it's time to renew my cell phone plan, my first thought is "Oooh...I can get a new phone!"  They always offer free phones when you sign up for another two-year contract.  It's fun to get something new.  It will be all shiny.  I'll get to play around with it like a new toy to figure out all of its buttons and gadgets.  I consider that fun.  I'm kind of a geek like that.

But then it will sit in my bag.  Sit on the table at home.  Sit on my desk at work and I will hardly use it.  And my old phone will become just more electronic waste in this world.

Gordon Gekko should have kept this phone.  It could also be used as a barbell.

It is so seductive and insidious.  I don't consider myself a materialistic person, but in this case I was almost blindly sucked into the genius marketing that is all around us, telling us:

"New is better!"

"Just throw it away and get another one!"

"You deserve it!"

Now that I have given it more thought, there is no good reason to stop using my current cell phone.  I plan to walk into a T-Mobile store, show them my old phone and ask them if it can be used with their calling plan.  (They have a cheaper plan than Verizon and no contract.)

I am fully expecting the salesperson to automatically switch into all out Zombie Sales Mode (they try to eat your brains) and offer me some fabulous way to get a shiny! new and improved! fully gadget-ized! phone for free.  Free!!!  He will flash his fancy electronics in front of me and hope that the blinking digital screens and melodious ring tones will lull my brain into a somnolent stupor (mmmmm.....shiny) so he can sign me up for a phone that will make my life finally worth living and turn me into a new and improved, better version of myself.  Come on!  Don't I deserve it?

I will thwart him with the Luddite Laser-Stare that I've been perfecting back at headquarters and I'll use my Power Bracelets to deflect the sparkly trance-rays right back at him.   If that doesn't work, I'll turn to the trusty Lasso of Truth to get him to answer my simple question - "Can I use this 2-year-old phone or not?!"  I may or may not use my Boots of Thunder to cause a seismic disturbance and bring the whole building down in order to spare the other poor saps from falling into their brain-eating clutches.  It depends on my mood.

Zombie Sales Boy had better hope I'm having a pleasant day.


Ms. Moon said...

I think this is a good plan but I have a feeling you'll be getting a new phone. You deserve it.

Bethany said...

yeah yeah yeah, get the new phone dammit, then you can blog from your phone and we can texttttttttttttttt all day, Oh em gee, oooooooookay?.
Thanks for the laugh though.

Anonymous said...

I just can't stop commenting today.

1) I would totally take the rusty spork over Black Friday any day.
2) Interpretive dance. Hee!
3) LOVE that picture of Gordon Gekko and his awesome phone. Just don't have that image anywhere in your head when you go to face off with the zombie.

grasshopper said...

Oh no! The Zombies have already gotten Ms Moon and Beth!! Nooooooo!

Jennifer - what would really be funny is if I actually found a phone like Gekko's and brought THAT into the T-Mobile store with me to demand they sign me up.

Anonymous said...

Kathy - I read your response to my comment yesterday morning and I had to come back to tell you that I was chuckling all day at the image of you taking a big-ass phone like Gekko's into the T-Mobile store and asking them to sign you up with it. So thank you for that! (Not that you shouldn't do it if you find a phone like that of course).

Angie Muresan said...

Here from Ms. Moon's place and I must say I agree with you regarding all those crazy shoppers the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Having said all that, I do think you should get yourself a new phone, even if you communicate through dancing rather than speaking.
And you can hang on to your old phone until it becomes as much of a relic as Gekko's, and take it in then, demanding a free plan.

swallowtail said...

Your "Oh Danny Boy" post is deeply moving. Why is this little guy @ daycare @ night? Of course, it is not for you to answer, but it breaks my heart. How fortunate that you were there for him, and made many decisions with his well-being foremost. Oh... I really wish there was a different way. So, I will hold him close to my heart. Thank you for being there for him... and you volunteer to be there! I am blown away.