Phones. What do they represent to little girls? Independence, privacy, and they’re sexy, too. You can share confidences, and you’re wired to the world. Even if you’re confined to your room, you can escape. And maybe it’s a status symbol.
This past weekend my daughter had friends over. One was a tag along, a brother. After hanging with the other girls for a few minutes, he came to interrogate me.
“Why does she get a phone in her room?” he whined, all the while rubbing my wall with his grimy hands.
“Well, she talks to people, like her grandparents.”
“I talk to my grandparents,” he countered. “I don’t have a phone in my room.”
I give him my standard argument. “Families are different. Maybe she has a phone in her room, but we don’t have cable TV.”
He continued to pout, now rubbing his whole body up and down the wall. Time to get out the Magic Eraser.
“We don’t watch TV on Sundays,” I offered, knowing from past experience the injustice of a day without TV gets kids every time.
He quieted, and then went home. He sat on his front porch and cried about the phone.
It’s a cool phone. A Bratz old fashioned styled phone with a metallic purply finish. I coveted it too. Something about that phone brought up desire.
I never had a phone in my room even as a teenager, we were too poor. I remember what it’s like to want something other kids have. Maybe the object of desire was something you’d never thought of before, but seeing it in a child’s room brought up envy.
When I was a kid, other children’s trophies caught my eye. My mom wasn’t into after school activities, since there was never enough time or money for it. I always wondered if the kids really were more special than me. I still wonder. But at least I’ve escaped my humble beginnings and now have enough cash to buy the Bratz Funkadelic Fashion Phone. A trophy if there ever was one.