square one

Last night my ex-manfriend and I went out for beers.  He said he wanted to leave me with a better impression than our last meeting, which in truth, was  a complete disaster. I went to his apartment last week to pick up some documents I had left there and was greeted in a somewhat hostile manner by his roommate who demanded to know whether D was expecting me.  Then my ex couldn’t actually find the documents he had set aside days before. I stood in his room feeling awkward as he apologized profusely for the situation. Ultimately, they were located covered in goo and in the trash. Not a great memory on either of our parts.

So we met for a drink to repair that image. And I am thankful that we can still chat and joke and voice our opinions to each other – without getting angry, without wanting to get back together. I am not so thankful to be back at square one. As he walked me home he said that he was going to have to remember how to meet girls. I confessed that I was not pleased to be back on the single track in San Francisco. Whatever you may have heard about the dating scene in SF being one of the best in the country, it’s all lies. It’s not hard to get a date, it’s hard to go on dates with people you actually like … Let me explain.

The San Francisco Bay Area is plagued with a type of man I like to call the serial upgrader. He is someone you meet who decides you are great. Wonderful even. His type of gal. You go out to dinner. You go hiking together. You go to professional  sporting events together. (Which you likely know more about than him.) He introduces you to his friends. You are kind of like a new car at this point. Things seem to be going … well. And then the fear sets in. What if you are a really great gal … but there is an even  better version of you out there for him to date? And then you are back at square one. Which in all honesty, is probably a good thing. Because if you had to explain baseball to one more boyfriend …

I suspect this phenomenon has something to do with proximity to Silicon Valley. Think about it. There is always some new gadget or software coming out that promises to change your world. Redefine your life. It promises to be better, faster, easier to handle, more intuitive, lighter, sleeker, more informative, more … well more. And because these devices are constantly receiving upgrades, it makes it harder to commit to the first version you discovered. So you hold out on buying the first version, and wait for the 2.0 or 3.0 version to come along. Don’t believe me? Look around. Does anyone still use the first iPod? That thing resembles a cell phone from the early 90s it’s so big. But it still works beautifully.

And it’s not just people’s inherent desire to upgrade. Our culture forces you whether you want to or not. Case in point: me. Six months ago my phone from college died. It was a cute phone. It did not have Internet or photo capabilities. It was difficult to use for texting. But it was great at receiving phone calls. Which is a good thing. Because I am old school and that’s the way I prefer to communicate. Unfortunately, I dropped it in a glass of water and killed it.

When I went to the Verizon store to search for its replacement I discovered they no longer made anything that … simple. The guy ended up selling me something that was way more than I needed, way more than I even wanted. It takes pictures. That’s nice. But I never use it.  It has the Internet. Which is convenient. But, I get charged for it. The phone has a nice touch screen. It looks pretty. But it only works half the time. So I often stare at the p.o.s. phone and recall all of the wonderful things about my first. If only I hadn’t screwed it up. If only I hadn’t gotten greedy. If only.

3 thoughts on “square one

  1. When I am in search of phone – that’s what I want… a phone. Not a camera, computer, or video camera… a phone!

    I lost my last cell phone a few years ago during a snow storm in the parking lot of work. Obviously there was no recovering it – the plows sent up all the snow to the banks. Maybe it was dropped down the sewer grate or after the snow melted I would find it in the grass… I was so hopeful that for at least a week I was in denial I had lost it & I would call the number, thinking that maybe this time I would hear it ring in the snow bank.

    Anyway… when I finally bothered to get a new phone it was a similar story as yours. I did finally find a phone that did not have all the extra bells & whistles, but the salesman kept pushing me to upgrade to more. I stayed firm… but then even that wasn’t the same – this phone has never kept a charge well. For a while I wondered if they did that on purpose to force someone like me to upgrade. But I guess even the fancy phones crap out.

    Long story short I suck at cell phone communication these days because of the cell phone I reject on a daily basis. Yet I am still paying for it each month, even though it is rarely touched. But its hard to say goodbye to it since its the same number I’ve had since college. I think in a perfect world I would keep my number, but only have a pay as you go phone. Hmm… maybe I’ll look into that.

    I love popping over to your blog – always love what you have “to say”.


    p.s. my dad is now a fan of your blog, too. He thinks you are a beautiful writer! (As do I.)

  2. Katherine,

    I think you are on to something there. The new phones never do keep the charges as well. It may have something to do with powering all those bells and whistles. And of course you need to upgrade to a better battery, which requires a better phone … They don’t make ’em like they used to.

    I love your blog too. The pics are too cute! Speaking of too cute … my parents got their puppies. I have new pics of both of them. And videos. I will email them your way!

    Hope you are doing well! Tell Dad I said hi! Actually, I guess I can do it myself. Hi Mr. B!

  3. Shall we rant towards planned obsolescence a while? Shall we pine again for days in which a product was designed to last a lifetime, and not only until the next season? This applies to cell phones, clothing, electronics, appliances, tools and toys. The greed inherent in our world’s system has provided some wonderful advantages and high quality of life for many, but it has also sacrificed the idea of value. There seems to be no value anymore, only money and more.

    Ok, I guess that was just me ranting. Next question, what are we looking for in our significant others? Why can I find a certain writer/blogger so fascinating, attractive, and intelligent, yet know that her and I are just not right for each other?

    Sigh. This crazy world of ours. Just gotta keep living and laughing, I guess.

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