Pocket the cellphone — if you dare

When those Roman guys switched from togas to pants, they got pockets.

It’s been that way ever since. The men got the simplest of all the clothes, the three-brush-stroke hairstyles, and all the easiest household chores. AND they got pockets? No fair. ‘

Then Levi Strauss designed five pockets for men’s hardworking jeans.

We women, who were finally allowed to wear pants around 1970, still didn’t get pockets.

OK. If all we women wear Levis all the time, we do have pockets. I have one pair of jeans with two pockets – not Levis. I know it’s probably just me, but I’m not comfortable wearing my jeans beyond the backyard. They are my garden pants – and occasional cooking garb.

The designers who create new styles of pants – I mean really, how many options are there? – now occasionally put in pockets. But they’re not deep enough to be of good use. I suppose the original theory was that women do not want to add any bulk to their hip region. I get that. And the short-pocketed version we sometimes actually find in stores hold maybe a tissue, a credit card, or a quarter for the parking meter. But a cell phone? Fuggedaboudit.

I have tried carrying my phone in the few pairs of pants I have with pockets. As soon as I sit down in the car, the phone pops out of the shallow pocket and slides down into that never-neverland between the seat and the center console. You know the spot – it currently contains two pens, a pair of glasses and a straw from Dunkin’ Donuts. Even sitting on top of the items already stuck down there doesn’t make it reachable.

Recently, I discovered that a thick-ish folded map inserted upside down will flip the phone forward onto the floor. Of course, to accomplish this, I have to be standing outside the car, bent forward stretching across the seat to peer into the dreaded slot to begin the forward flicking process. Not the most attractive maneuver, so I don’t recommend it for public parking lots. I retrieve mine in my own driveway. As darkness approaches.

Once, I foolishly put the phone in my left pants pocket. Of course, it also fell out when I sat down. I wasn’t aware of it until I heard it thunk on the inhospitable surface of the Walmart parking lot. I don’t do that anymore.

Winter is actually a safe time for cellphones, because jacket pockets usually have some size to them. But here we are, entering springtime, and pockets will once again be in short supply.

Men have their cellphones with them. Dear Richard’s is either in his back pocket or his shirt pocket, depending on destination. It is with him. Always. Mine is in my handbag, which does not go everywhere I do.

The handbag is fine, but it also means that in order to answer a phone call, it needs to be where I am. I also do not buy a pocketbook anymore unless it has an outside pocket for easy accessibility. Get that? An outside POCKET! If my phone goes into the body of the handbag, its weight takes it to the bottom. It winds up inaccessible under the wallet, the glasses case, and the 47 other items necessary to leave the house.

In order to have the cellphone with me at home on the average pocketless day, I must hand carry it. Once I’m into laundry, putting groceries away, or feeding the cat, I have to put the phone down. AHA! There’s the rub. Set the phone down and it disappears.

Keeping my phone well-charged is critically important because I call it – to locate it – two or three times a week. I have followed its classical guitar ring tone to the bottom of the newspaper stack, the top of the dryer, and the middle of the Fancy Feast box. Last summer I found it in the garden after a three-day disappearing act. Thankfully, a dry weekend.

All of this incompetence has me pretty much convinced that we can’t get rid of our house phone.

What if Richard and I both misplace our phones during the same full moon? We have come within hours of doing just that. Not having a way to call our furtive little Samsungs goes way beyond not having a pocket to put them in.

Sometime soon, a woman is going to show up on Shark Tank with a solution for we hapless, pocketless victims. The enormous IBM computer that now exists in my smart little phone deserves its own pocket. Maybe I’ll just wait until lady Levi’s go on sale.

Marcy O’Brien writes from Warren.


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