By Stacie Chadwick
On a recent family trip to Mexico, I experienced something I’d never imagined to be possible. Within two hours of landing on terra firma and barely south of the border, I lost my phone in the most unspectacular way – at the grocery store.
Expertly balancing a gorgeous bottle of Clase Azul, freshly made cinnamon churros, and what appeared to be a GMO-enhanced pineapple, I put both my grocery list and my phone down. When I came back later to retrieve them, my list was right where I’d left it. My phone, however, was not.
As a wave of panic enveloped my body, I did what every American tourist would in a similar situation. I opened the Clase Azul and downed a shot. Okay, so that’s not true, but I did use my middle school Spanish skills to engage the entire staff at the store in an emergency phone hunt. As they combed each aisle with ATF-like precision, I noticed that everyone who wasn’t involved in my self-inflicted mission was either talking, texting or listening to music on – their phones. In that moment, it became crystal clear that everyone in Mexico had a phone, except me. Without my third arm, or rather, access to my AT&T global plan, my trip was forever changed.
As days ticked by, I wish I could say that losing my phone gave me time to reflect, get in touch with myself, and finally not only understand, but engage the seven chakras into my daily routine, but that’s not how it went.
With client calls stacking up, friends and family wondering where I’d disappeared to, and new online Bennifer sightings only clicks away, I tried to commandeer my kids’ phones. Considering that their dad and I fully bankroll their TikTok addictions, I thought this was a no-brainer. Wow, was I wrong. Gaining access to any of their phones for 10 minutes was like prying a large rodent from an anaconda’s throat, which is to say, not happening.
In my time away from the world, I did manage to learn a thing or two about myself. One, that I sleep better with the fake soothing sounds of waves crashing from my phone than the real thing and two, that I really missed my phone.
I wish there was a moral to my story that could engage and inspire others to spontaneously lose their phones like me, but if anything, I’d say double down on your protection plan and get international 24-hour replacement delivery instead.
To read more from Stacie, check out her blog at https://readingbetweenthepines.com.