Unknown-1I never thought I’d experience an epiphany in a cell phone store. “Meltdown” was more the anticipated end.

With a dead Blackberry in hand after the two-year contract had expired, there were too many possibilities: (1) emergency surgery to replace a trackball that would move only up, not down;(2) assuming success, getting on the list Feb. 10 for an iPone that might not actually be available till April but would eventually allow me to order Chipotle for pick-up with a couple of clicks ; (3) grabbing the new Blackberry, not plagued by a trackball, that would be free if I remembered to send in the rebate form.

Perhaps it was the good timing – Blackberry death on a lazy afternoon – but I decided to ask myself a couple of questions that for me were so calm and rational I could not believe I was in a cell phone store: (1) Can I afford for this trackball to die -again- on a busier day? and (2) How much Chipotle do I actually eat? Headed toward option 3, I made a list of things to check before I left: (1) Does phone really ring? (2) Does it really get an e-mail? (3) Are the little icons in the right places? (4) Does the Browser return to the home I want it to return to (that is, not Verizon’s home page)? (5) Did the video card get transferred?

There were blips along the way – notably a defective phone that had to be reprogrammed – but all in all, it was a peaceful afternoon, one of the most pleasant in a long while. It was, of course, occasionally interrupted by thoughts of a call I needed to make, or a question I needed to Google, or an e-mail I needed to send — but could not, thanks to my out-of-action cell.

“Just shows how much I need the phone,” I remember thinking. Or, looking back, why the afternoon was more delightful than most.

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