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Marg-Ins - Dumb Phone, No Heels
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Some people just aren’t meant to wear heels.

Take me, for instance. The first time my mom let me get ‘dressed up’ for the holidays to go to my grandmother’s for our traditional Christmas Eve celebration, I was probably in fourth or fifth grade. I had a skirt, pantyhose and heels and, as usual, was trying to keep up with my brother as we charged out of the house to run along the sidewalk to the car. However, the upstate New York sidewalk was covered with freshly fallen snow, just a dusting light enough to make it incredibly slippery and not really conducive to running in heels…

I arrived at my grandmother’s with a rip in the pantyhose, a bloody knee and the heels tucked away in the trunk of my parent’s car. After all, no point risking falling over while crossing the living room to get a present from under the tree.

Fast forward a few years to eighth grade graduation. Foregoing the traditional heels, this time my feet were encased in clogs, which were slightly more comfortable but offered very little support for my ankles. This became a problem when, running in the parking lot of where we were having a celebratory get together, I hit a pebble that turned the clog (and my ankle along with it) on its side. Nothing broken, just a little bent. I don’t think the clogs were ever worn again. At least not while running.

My daughter often wonders why sneakers are my favorite footwear. Perhaps she should just read my column.

Just give me something simple where I don’t have to balance anything and my feet are firmly planted.

Kind of the same with cell phones, I don’t want anything fancy. Just the basics to get me through.

Of course, my daughter figures in to the story here as well, since she is always on the lookout for the latest and greatest, as far above basic as the budget will allow. She had a new iPhone on her holiday wish list, the 5, to replace the 4 she got a couple of years ago. Not the latest 5, but the next to latest, the one that came after 4 but before the next 5.

Okay, glad we have that straight.

She even was gracious enough to tell me that she would provide me with her old iPhone 4, so I could join the ‘smart phone’ revolution. Well, unfortunately, she said that in a voice loud enough so that my previous hand-me-down from her decided its job was over and it could just stop working. The phone, a plain one – not smart – had been operating perfectly fine for nearly a year since she gave it to me. I was familiar with it, was able to talk and text, and even had a few photos on it. But it’s almost like it heard her offering to replace it and figured it was okay to quit. At first, I could still text but I couldn’t hear anything. If you called me, the phone rang but there was nothing on the other end of the line. Conversely, I didn’t know if people could hear me. So if you called my cell phone in mid-December and I was shouting at you, please don’t take it personally.

Then, it seemed as though I could still text but it didn’t register that they were actually sent. So I didn’t know if people were getting my messages.

Like many people these days, we no longer have a ‘land line’ so our cell phones are our means of connecting and communicating. It was very weird to be at my house feeling cut off from all contact.

But rather than jump into anything too quickly, I just got a basic (not even with a keyboard!) phone that will keep me going until I figure out if a smart phone is right for me. My daughter, happily, got her next-to-latest 5 and was able to retrieve everything from her 4 from The Cloud.

Sometimes we speak a different language and I am not even going to try to figure that whole cloud thing out; I was just happy it worked for her.

For now, my sneakers and I are happy with a dumb phone. Especially since I can hear you when you call.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.