My first up close and personal interaction with a smartphone smacked me in the face – literally.

My husband and I were away for an anniversary trip to Tahoe to celebrate one year of dating. We didn’t really have any specific plans, so I was looking forward to sleeping in. That’s not easy to do when the love of your life accidentally drops his new smartphone of your head while you’re nestled in his arms sleeping.

Looking back, I realize this was the moment my husband’s love for technology would be the third wheel to our relationship. I joked about it so much that Chuck got me a block inscribed with the message “I love you more than my phone.” Not exactly romantic, but it still makes me laugh. I keep it on my bedside table.

Another thing that makes me laugh is when Chuck and I go shopping, which is pretty rare because I’m concerned for his safety. If we are in a store that doesn’t interest him, he pulls out his phone and follows me around the shop like a shadow. Most of these stores target a female clientele, and I understand he isn’t going to find anything in there for himself, but I always try to direct him to a bench in the store where he can sit and wait.

But no, he follows me through the store. He’s not trying to be intimidating or influence any of my purchases; he just likes to be close by, which is sweet, not stalker-like. So when I shop with Chuck, I always make the extra effort to make sure he doesn’t bump into displays or trip over anything while he’s lost scanning through Reddit feeds.

Lately, I’ve been trying to be more mindful and more present in my own life. I know it is easy to be distracted by screens, but I’m trying to enjoy the peace that comes in moments where nothing in particular is happening. For instance, I was at Kaiser last month waiting to give blood for some tests ordered by my doctor. The line was going out of the laboratory department and down the hall. Most of the people in line were on their cell phones. I decided to go without. People watching is far more interesting if you ask me.

Well, it would seem my dealings with Kaiser aren’t over. Remember when I said my lady parts hate me a few columns ago. Turns out I wasn’t exaggerating. Last week, I went to see a specialist who intends to “roto-rooter” my uterus to remove some growths, which appear to be benign skin tags — *fingers crossed* — in a quick outpatient procedure.

Chuck came with me for the consultation, and he can affirm that my doctor used the term “roto-rooter” when describing my upcoming procedure. He kept his phone in his pocket the entire time.

Apparently, while my procedure is pretty standard, I am required to be very drugged up given the location of these polyps. Some of the medications were ready for pick up after the consultation, so Chuck and I went to the pharmacy.

As I approached the counter, Chuck lingered behind me.

“Would you come stand with me instead of looking like a creeper,” I asked.

He looked up from his phone and pointed, “The sign says no cell phones.”

“Then put the phone away,” I hissed.

He came and stood next to me, and I rolled my eyes.

“I love you,” he said as he put his arm around me.

“I know,” I said as I rested my head on his shoulder, “even more than your phone.”

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Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register online editor. Simple & Sassy runs every other Sunday. She can be reached at shartley@napanews.com.


Online Editor/Calendar Editor

Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register online editor. Her column Simple & Sassy runs on alternating Sundays.