Glass Ceilings, Floors and Faces

Dearest Rachel –

You hear talk a lot about the glass ceiling, that tantalizing sight above women in the career marketplace preventing them from the advancement they might otherwise be entitled to. You were never much for that, having no desire for a career as far as I could tell. In any event, it’s a figurative construct, a symbol rather than a literal skylight (which is actually quite esthetically pleasing in certain cases – as your mom would confirm, having put them in several places throughout your childhood home).

As far as dangers go, I’d say that it’s nothing compared to a glass floor. Sure, you might not be able to get past the glass ceiling, but at least it wouldn’t make you slip and fall. A glass floor, on the other hand…

Although, I should probably explain that I’m not talking about literal glass here. I’m talking about ice.

Last night, it was raining first, and then changed over to freezing rain. It always looks nice in the morning, with all the tree branches encased in glass, but it’s not just the trees that are covered in it. The sidewalks are too – and that’s where things get to be problematic.

Indeed, as I stepped out the door, carrying a box that we were to take to Best Buy after church (Logan had gotten us a Christmas present that was incompatible with our television, and we were going to return it with him), I called out behind me to Daniel that he should watch his step when he went outside, only for my feet to shoot out from underneath me as I stepped off the front stoop. I landed on my backside, my fall only slightly broken by my left hand. To be fair, I wasn’t hurt; more surprised, in fact, and somewhat chagrined at the irony of suffering the fate I had just warned Daniel about. The box with the speakers seemed undamaged, too, although it had a bit of snow on it that actually stayed with it until we eventually got it to Best Buy.

I picked my way – very carefully – to the back of the car, and loaded everything in. It was then that I felt the buzz of a message, and realized that my phone had been in my back pocket.

The pocket I had just landed on when I slipped on the ice.

Oh, drat.

Get a load of the spiderwebbing on the face of this thing. And yet…

The crazy thing is, the phone continued (and continues) to work just fine; the screen guard held together seamlessly. But I don’t dare remove it, or the screen itself will likely come apart like a badly cracked egg. Glass will do that, after all.

So. Time to get a replacement, even though it’s been probably no more than a year and a half since I’d put this Model 8 in service. These things will happen, it would seem. Besides, I think the contract allows me to upgrade every year or so.

Thankfully, there’s a Verizon store right in the same shopping plaza as the Best Buy. Unfortunately, there’s a line of about seven other people waiting for service (not to mention the four or five people actually being served). I would never have guessed that Sunday was the day for getting one’s phone upgraded. Either that, or the weather has made klutzes out of so many more people than even I would have expected.

Had you stayed with us, you might well have finally been persuaded to switch to a smart phone, now that the iPhone 12 comes in purple.

I suggest to Daniel that – seeing as he and Logan will be heading to the house to watch anime in any event – he should get in touch with Logan (who had already started to drive off to our house after making the exchange for a sound bar), and have him pick him up and both of them ride to the house. It wasn’t as if Logan would be able to get in until at least one of us arrived, anyway.

(As it turned out, it was actually a little more problematic than that, even. While I never consider myself dressed if I haven’t got my keys in either pocket – house in one, car in the other – Daniel has not considered the need to bring his house key with him. He had to retrieve the spare hidden in the backyard behind the house; for all I know, they may well have been there since the last time you had to use them – whenever that was – and were last touched by you, years ago. But at least they were there for him. Thanks, honey, for looking out for us like that. You just never know when or how you’ll be helping out those of us in the future.)

It’s a good thing Logan could double back, too; it would have been a shame if both of them had to sit around in their respective cars while I had to wait for service and, once I settled on a new model (the 12 mini wasn’t available with the amount of storage space I had on the old 8, so I had to go with a standard 12), getting all the data transferred from the old phone to the new one (at least it didn’t erase anything from the old one, for what that’s worth), freezing their tails off in the sub-zero weather.

So – not that it really looks all that different (apart from, you know, the lack of cracks on its glass face) – here is a look at my new phone:

I made sure to get a more robust shield and case, although I don’t know if it will help all that much against the possibility of my landing on it with my full weight. Guess I’m just going to have to be that much more careful about where I step going forward.

I’ve even gone so far as to update our plan; we now have unlimited data, so I don’t have to be quite so careful about leaving my cellular hotspot function on. That’ll be useful in finding directions while I drive going forward. It even has several streaming functions, like Hulu and Disney+ attached to it as part of the package – which I can even use on our new smart TV in the yellow room.

I still have your phone on the plan, I’ll be at in a truncated form. I can’t quite bring myself to get rid of it, as I still like to be able to call your voicemail and hear your voice once again. I know you’ll never respond, so your cheerful assurance that you’ll get back to me is something of a lie, but I know it’s all beyond your control, and I don’t hold it against you. But if ever you were able to get in touch with me again, I’d really like to hear from you. And that’s worth keeping your phone on our plan. Feel free to laugh at my sentimentality if you like.

But I’d really like to think you’re keeping an eye out for us, honey. I just wish I could hear from you again, to prove it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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