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I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that I’m the only person in the U.S. who never saw The Godfather. I haven’t really felt deprived, though; it’s not my kind of movie. Nice music, though.

Once in a while, however, something comes up that makes reference to the movie, and I feel a little left out because I just don’t get the joke. One bit is from You’ve Got Mail! (very much my kind of movie!) where people–men, that is–keep mentioning “Go to the mattresses!” and Meg Ryan just doesn’t understand. Obviously, I don’t either.

This post isn’t really about that film, though, or mattresses, either. The whole thing started when Hubby’s old cell phone jumped off his belt carrier one last time and suffered a fatal injury. Suddenly we’re faced with the dilemma of which of the myriad phones available should constitute a proper replacement. We started to do some research, and found that phones, like mattresses, are not labeled the same from one purveyor to another.

Well, mattresses have always been that way, at least for as long as I can remember. Acme Stores will have a mattress called “Beauty Sleep” which is, to all appearances, exactly the same as what Super Bee Stores sells, but Super Bee calls theirs “Slumber Paradise.” You know how it is, sometimes the pattern of the covering changes a tiny bit, sometimes not. We determined long ago that this is to keep buyers from any chance at comparing prices. Hmmm.

Lately we’ve discovered that appliances are finding the same multi-name status. The LBG445  stove (or refrigerator, or dishwasher) at Store 1 is the same thing as KBG445 at Store 2. The thing is–and I’ve given this considerable thought–that each store can proclaim in their ad that they will Meet or Beat Any Advertised Sale Price on identical items; the kicker is that they can now say the products don’t meet the criteria because the ID is different. Pretty sneaky.

So now we come to cell phones. This situation has an extra little fillip because you not only have to choose the physical device, which is an exercise in itself, but you also have to choose a Plan. The only way to do this, as I see it, is to determine exactly how much you can spend and still have a bit left in your pocket for things like food.  Then you simply find any plan that will match.

Up until now, we’ve been included in our son’s family thing. He replaces his own personal unit on a regular basis, opting for whatever is new and exciting to keep him in touch with the world. As for Hubby and me, our antique flip phones ring to tell us when a call is coming in, and we can place a call if we have our reading glasses handy to see the keys. They don’t have cameras or games, and if we get lost somewhere in Oklahoma, we’ll have to pull out the paper map. I have yet to work up the courage to ask Dear Son what his latest phone will do; I’m not sure I can handle all that information. We’ve been perfectly content with our dinosaurs.

All that will change this week. We’re venturing into uncharted territory, setting up our own account with new rules and new equipment. Will we be able to move all of our phonebook lists to the new phones? (My own phone only has a dozen or so names, and two of those people are deceased now.) Can we keep our same numbers, having spent seven or eight years learning them? And the biggie: Will the Do Not Call list work on the new phones? All of this is heavy stuff for 70-year-old brains to deal with.

I think it will work, though. Dear Son promises to hover in the background, giving tips along the way. He is very helpful and smiles a lot, and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that we’ll be paying our own way now.

I’ll see you again, after the commercial.

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