Retro Without Even Trying

Whatever Wednesday – Work

I have never been a trendsetter.

Except for that one time in seventh grade when I decided it would be cool to wear jingle bells in my barrettes, and somehow, for once, nobody thought that was weird, and all the other junior high girls started doing it all through the Christmas season, to the point that it got so annoying that the teachers made a rule that we could only wear jingle bells in our barrettes on Fridays.

And maybe you could count that time in fifth grade when everybody had to learn to play the recorder, and everybody had a recorder case except me, so my mother made me one out of red and white flower-printed quilted material, with lace edging and a button closure, and I felt like such a nerd but everybody thought it was way cooler than their cases and even though nobody else’s mom made them a case like that, it sure did look an awful lot like early Vera Bradley. Not that Vera Bradley was in my recorder class or anything, of course.

But those two were flukes, and if anything, maybe Mom was the trendsetter in the second story. My Paul can tell you that most of his pop culture references go right over my head (as have pretty much any other person’s who has ever tried to make pop culture references around me). He’s been catching me up on 80’s movies that I missed in high school, for example. So it should come as no surprise that I got my first iPhone (a 3G) in 2010, after the flip phone I had been using for years physically self-destructed while I was at the annual ICCC conference. And therefore maybe it should continue to be unsurprising that I still have that phone.

However, approximately around the time of last year’s ICCC conference, my phone stopped connecting to the any-number-of-G network. I had already ceased to be able to send or receive image texts, but that was because I had changed phone plans and it just seemed too complicated to try to fix that part. The connexion thing was different. It just stopped. If there was a wireless connexion wherever I was, and I wasn’t locked out of it, I could connect to email and facebook and more or less the internet. Otherwise, my iPhone 3G acted just like a . . . well, a phone. Which . . . does anybody know what phones are supposed to act like anymore? Not like phones, surely.

In reality, this wouldn’t be that much of a problem–sometimes I think I could quite happily go back to a flip phone–but for two things.

  1. It isn’t a flip phone and I have this deep-seated need for things to be what they are. A smartphone needs to be a smartphone. Otherwise, when it takes 10 full minutes to connect to Facebook even with a wifi connection, I feel like throwing a fit. Or at least a phone. If it wasn’t supposed to do those things (much more rapidly), I don’t think I would care.
  2. My job title and description have been morphing a bit over the past few months, and now “social media” is a part of it. It’s a little tricky to be on the ball with Instagram and suchlike, when, even if I can take a picture, I can’t post it anywhere and the quality is never any better than this:
(Name and contact info obscured just in case.)

I can’t stop posting this one, though (if not to the church sites). “Sometimes,” I say, when I post it, “punctuation is the only thing standing between you and Yoda.” The Jenn stories. Beating funnies into the ground since 2011. But really longer than that. The Jenn stories. Beating funnies into the ground since 2011. But really longer than that. The Jenn stories. Beating funnies into the ground since 2011. But really longer than that.

At one point I decided that if I were going to have such a retro phone, I should make it look as retro as possible, so I consoled myself by buying (for $2 on amazon) a new “old” phone case. (I would love to say this case was my own idea, but actually, one of the Youth Group alumni had one first, and I saw it at . . . an ICCC conference. I never realised how pivotal that conference was to the life and history of my phones.) Now people Generation X and older, plus hipsters, say, “Why are you carrying a cassette?” Everybody else says, “What is that?”

I wrote "That's a Jenn Story" on the "label," but it wore off in like a week.

I wrote “That’s a Jenn Story” on the “label,” but it wore off in like a week.

My Paul made the mistake last month of intimating how irritating my whining about this state of affairs was becoming. It was a mistake because I have since decided it is absolutely hilarious to insert even more of this whining into every conversation going. But this post might be the last time, because happily, Now Church is on top of the situation at this point, and a new smartphone is forthcoming–one with a leagues better camera and actual connectivity. One of the trustees has been in touch with a national phone service to try to make arrangements for me and the rest of the staff, and the representative with whom he has been negotiating contacted me the other day. Evidently she forgot which of us were getting new phones or something, because I think she was trying to transfer my device over.

“Can you tell me what kind of phone you have?” she asked.

“It’s an iPhone,” I said. I paused before I added, “3G.”

There was a strange choking sound at the other end of the connexion. “A-a 3G?” she said. “Wow. Were you, um, going to replace that?”

What do you suppose she was saying? Doesn’t she know that retro is cool?



4 thoughts on “Retro Without Even Trying

  1. I laughed all the way through this! Thank you, I needed that. I am that way with everything except technology. I will wear shoes until they fall apart, and never update an appliance. (Still using my grandmother’s crock pot from the 1960’s,) But I love techy crap.

    • I like it . . . but not enough to update. 🙂 Just got a new MacBook Pro, too–8 years after the last MacBook.

      And yeah, I do that with everything else, too. I get it from my Germanic ancestors, I think. My Pennsylvania Dutch grandfather used to sew the uppers of his shoes onto the soles with wire when they started to separate–or when the previous wire sewing broke. 😉

      Thanks for coming around here again, and for commenting!

    • Ahahahahahahahaha! I JUST noticed that “The Jenn stories. Beating funnies into the ground since 2011. But really longer than that.” copied 3 times in that caption. That was totally unintentional but . . . also perfectly illustrates my point. I’m leaving it.

  2. Pingback: Wordy Whoops | That's a Jenn Story

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