Vinson: Like a caveman on Times Square
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By MIKE VINSON

Those 30 years of age and younger probably will find this story laughable! Those 50 and older probably will understand.

Follow along closely . . .

First, I readily admit I had been dodging this particular issue for well over a year, knowing all along that I needed to come to terms with my dilemma and get it behind me.

However, I continued to procrastinate, and my situation gradually worsened—and it was beginning to take a toll: Friends were eyeballing me with concerned expressions, just shaking their heads in dismay. One really close friend, Phillip, even said, “Mike, anytime you want to change, just give me a call, and I’ll give you all the help you need. You’ll be asking yourself, ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’”

But the stark truth is I liked things just the way they were—the way they’d been for years, for that matter—and the reason was the “simplicity” of it all.  However, my problem had become so obvious that I no longer could hide it. I realized the smart thing was to cast aside my old way and move on in a different direction. To not do so would be dumb and potentially destructive.

It was Friday morning, August 23, 2014, when this exchange was set to go down. Having tossed & turned the previous night—nervous over what awaited me in the next few hours—I arose around 5:30 a.m. Still procrastinating, I stopped off at a local restaurant and had several cups of coffee, but as country artist Clint Black sings, “Killin’ time [was] killin’ me.”

With knots in my stomach, I left the restaurant and drove to the rendezvous point, a small store where the transaction was to take place. When I pulled into the parking lot, there was only one car there, for which I was thankful: the fewer witnesses the better!

Finally mustering up the courage, I exited my car and entered the front door of the convenience store. The only person inside the store was Misty, a pretty, young gal who might weigh 100 lbs. Without speaking a word, I stared at Misty, and she stared at me: She knew, precisely, “why” I was there. Though petite in physical stature, I was in complete awe of Misty because, for the time being, she held absolute domain over me: She controlled my immediate destiny.

Finally, I said, “Misty, though I don’t want to, I’m gonna go ahead and make a move. Do you still have it?”
“You still want what we talked about before?” Misty asked.

“Yeah, that one . . . you’re still gonna help me, aren’t you?” I nervously asked.

“You know I’ll help you, just like I promised. Don’t worry, it’ll be okay. First, though, I need your old one,” Misty instructed.

Since I was about to make a scary monetary transaction, I placed my right hand inside my right pant pocket and pulled out my wallet. I was a bit slower reaching inside my left pant pocket, however, for it contained was at the very center of this Godforsaken drama: my old cell-flip phone now referred to by some of the younger generation as a “dumbphone.” That’s right I was making the quantum leap from a dumbphone to a “smartphone,” with a front screen featuring seemingly enough “Apps” to fill up an “App” dictionary!

The next few hours were nerve-racking. However, Misty did assist me in learning the most rudimentary basics of my new smartphone: mainly sending and receiving phone calls, and sending and receiving text messages. The next day, the store manager, Amanda, continued my smartphone instructions, and, as I made progress, my anxiety lightened.
The irony of this column is when I first attempted to use my smartphone I felt dumb as a rock, like some caveman wandering down Times Square in New York City.

Concerning progress on my new smartphone, I haven’t yet reached Times Square, but I have stepped out of the total darkness of the cave and, now, see a glimmer of light.

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