Just what she needs, but can't operate

Elise T. Chisolm

June 15, 1993|By Elise T. Chisolm

I've always told him before an anniversary or a birthday, "Please don't give me anything that plugs in," in that I consider perfume or night gowns more sexy and more fitting.

No more appliances!

So it came as a shockeroo when for our 50th wedding anniversary he gave me a cellular car phone. Mind you, I did not have to install it, thank God.

I still can't quite figure out why he gave me a car phone. He does not like to talk on the phone himself.

Theories on the extravagant gift:

Recently, I had a flat tire on an interstate and I sat for an hour even though I had on my emergency lights and a pair of old white gym shorts attached to the aerial. The directions for assembling the jack looked like Japanese, so I flagged down an 18-wheeler. The trucker stopped, changed the tire and gave me a piece of gum for my nerves.

Or, maybe my spouse finally realizes that talking on a phone is kind of a hobby with me.

Or, he wants to know where I am at all times.

Or, he hopes I will call the filling station and not him when the fan belt breaks.

Car phones are expensive, to say nothing of the cost of the calls once I get the hang of it, which should be in about a year.

You have to read your mobile manual. It is not as simple as your electric tooth brush. I went to car phone school, which was the place where he bought the gizmo. "School" was a five-minute lesson while the teacher (salesman) bounced in and out of my car between customers with real businesses.

Please don't think I'm ungrateful. I love the fact I have an aerial on the back window instead of a ski rack on top, which is something I've always wanted. I love the fact that I can report to the police the crazy sports car drivers who dart across three lanes in front of me. Now I can show off to those yahoos who whizz by me talking on their phones when they should be minding the road.

My phone has a tiny Signal Strength Meter, the "SSM," which represents the strength of the received signal. Get it? Well, I'm trying. If your SSM fades, you can't call Uranus from Earth.

This weird configuration is a bar graph with little squiggly lines like burps. And by the way, your car phone burps a lot. And you have to remember your mobile phone number along with your Social Security number and all those other numbers in your human memory bank. Also, you must know your buttons.

I could go on sharing my car phone knowledge, but I have only made one call, and I was so excited my pulse rate went up and I got a headache, so you're on your own, baby.

I know someone loves me out there, but sadly no one has called me. I have the feeling my family thinks if I hear a beep, I will drive up a tree.

I'm not ungrateful, but wouldn't a designer dress have been less trouble?

I will say that all women who drive should have car phones. It is a crime deterrent. I'm sure the car jackers see my aerial and stay away from me. I could be dangerous.

Oh yes, I will pull over to the side of the road to make calls.

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