Sunday, 4 March 2007

I Still Play With Toys

Last summer, I introduced you to my girl cult. But to remind you, I am part of a group of friends who hang out together just about every Wednesday night. I could tell you about what happens on Girl’s Night, but then I would be giving away secrets, and I’d probably end up beheaded for my trouble.

However, I do feel safe from the cult in telling you about one night in our recent past.

Maybe a couple of cocktails had been consumed, maybe not. All I know is that I was feeling jealous that Muffin knew so much about what all the cool buttons did on her phone, and I didn’t know so much about mine, except to flash the fuchsia pink colour that it is.

Roxie had acquired a new phone as well, and we both ended up watching Muffin play the buttons of her phone like a virtuoso on concert night.

We were in awe, and almost instantly jealous.

Roxie and I looked at each other. I ran in the house to get my cell phone and returned just as quickly, in case I missed some magical beep from Muffin’s phone.

I felt the need in a moment, the need to be able to program my phone like Muffin does. I wanted to know what ‘Bluetooth’ meant, and how to do that text message thing.

I must watch the expert.

Muffin giggles when a musical chirp sounds from her phone. She looks up, her green eyes bright. “That means I did good.”

Roxie and I look at each other again. We want to do good too. We flip open our phones and start pressing buttons.

I’d like to say that cell-phone-ese came as a natural talent to both Roxie and me when the buttons started chirping. Since we all have different cell phone models, we couldn’t look to Yoda Muffin for guidance. We were on our own. Thus, my favourite training mode, ‘what does this button do?’

The words that flew through my head as I kept pressing the ‘cancel’ button (which has zero pretty sound, by the way) weren’t pretty. Soon enough I was stumbling through the buttons to send clumsy, fourth-grade-level text messages to my girlfriends as they sat in the same room with me.

And guess what? We were having a blast. We took turns taking pictures with our phones, so that now, when Muffin or Roxie calls, their smiling faces show up instead of a phone number.

We continued this way for a while, not speaking, just laughing as we sent one electronic message after another.

And that’s how Peter found us. He walked in and said, “Is everything okay? You guys are pretty quiet.” Obviously, an unusual occurrence.

When he realized what we were doing, he rolled his eyes and laughed. “You’re all playing with your cell phones instead of talking?” He turned to walk away before waiting for an answer. We’re women, we do weird things.

I gave him an answer anyway. “Peter, we’re just playing Barbies, grown up style.”