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Carol Perkins: How can a cell phone disappear?

This story does not yet have a happy ending - readers who have experience separation anxiety after losing a cell phone can appreciate the feelings and those who can remember their early teens can empathize with this growing up phase. Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: My wedding day, 25 Dec 1967

By Carol Perkins

How can a cell phone disappear? That is the question my entire family has been asking since my oldest grandson, age thirteen, lost his the day after he arrived and it never showed up. Most of the family's four-day stay was spent looking for that phone. The fact it was gone was devastating for him, but the fact his mother had just bought it brought on an entirely new set of problems that involved words like "responsible" and "careless." What thirteen-year-old isn't irresponsible and careless? I did my best to find that phone.

Naturally, the phone was dead. Therefore, any attempt to call the number was futile. "Where do you remember having it last?" Questions that led to retracing his steps were inevitable. As he described what he remembered, we all followed behind him, looking under pillows, couch cushions, and mattresses. Joseph, the eleven-year-old said, "The only thing left is pulling up the planks in the floors." I was beginning to think he was right.

"When I woke up this morning, I knew it was gone." There is a sense of loss when a cell phone is not near a young person that brings on anxiety. When once they gripped tightly their security blanket and refused to give up their pacifier, they now cling to their cell phones. Without them, their lives are meaningless (one might think).

Luke left without his phone. "I have to have my phone for school," he pleaded.

"We'll turn back on the old one." Luke knew not to argue with that since an old phone was better than no phone. However, the cost of the new phone would be a constant topic of conversation until it was found.

I decided after they left that the phone could be in the yard. With its black cover, finding it might be impossible. He had been running around outside until I put a stop to that so the phone might have fallen out of his pocket. Guy searched the grounds but no phone appeared. We thought Carla's husband Mark might have accidently picked it up since his looks just like Luke's, but since Mark never has his phone out of his hand, it was doubtful he mixed up the two. However, he searched his bag, his pockets, and his car. No phone.

Luke's sister Eme never loses anything. She is the one who can find what everyone else loses. However, this time she could not find his phone. I knew then that it must have gone out with the trash. If it were in the house, she would have found it. "Let's have a search and rescue," she suggested. "The one who finds it will get a reward." Even that didn't locate the phone.

The day after they got home, Luke called from his dad's phone. "CiCi, I think I've left my bag of toothpaste and toothbrush at your house." I knew there had to be more of a problem than a toothbrush and some toothpaste.

"Was there something else in that bag?"

He paused. "Yeah, my inhaler."

Although Jon gets frustrated, he remembers that at Luke's age he was just like his son. If not for me, he would never have known where his books were, his keys, his clothes, or his toothbrush and toothpaste. However, he grew out of those days of carelessness and irresponsibility and so will Luke. In the meantime, I sure wish we could locate that phone!
(My new book, A Girl Named Connie, is available at Blossoms Florist and Boutique Unique, 507 Happy Valley Road, Glasgow, KY 42141, Phone 270-629-3597; the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce, 109 E Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY, Phone 270-432-3222; and the Lighthouse Restaurant, 1500 Sulphur Well/Knob Lick Road, Sulphur Well Historic District, KY 42129. Phone 270-629-3597. And Also on

Contact: Carol Perkins, PO Box 134, Edmonton, KY 42129. Phone 670-432-5756.

This story was posted on 2017-01-05 13:19:27
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