You’ve heard me mention the “natural order.” It’s one of the ways we make sense of a complex world, in order to keep up with all the crap out there, we take some things for granted. Growing boys will have more scrapes and bruises, growing girls will get into more trouble, my wife will have a good reason to yell at me at least once a week, Macs will continue to be a superior alternative to the Windows hegemony, and I will always have more desirable gadgets than my wife. Try to keep a hold on your emotions until the end of this entry, but for a while there the natural order was out of whack.

Last month we signed a two year contract to share minutes on our wireless plan. Since it’s considerably less convenient to share minutes with only one phone, we bought a second one. Owing to a moment of weakness, Cheryl got the new one, and it was pretty cool, way cooler than mine. I told myself repeatedly that this was an excellent opportunity to pretend to be an adult. “I don’t really need a new phone, the one I’ve got works just fine. I don’t need all of those extra features anyway. When would I ever use a speaker phone?”

Who was I kidding?

Don’t you know, the whole point of having a million features isn’t to USE them? Dear Lord Man, get a hold of your self. HAVING them is the most important thing, an ends in and of it’s self. Gadget features are like tick marks on the great scorecard of life. Carrying around a feature poor gadget is worse than not carrying a gadget at all. At least if you don’t have one on you, you can maintain the image of having just left it out in the car. No one is the wiser. Carrying a feature poor gadget not only says something about your social status, it also says something about your self-image.

“I’m not worthy of a really cool toy. I don’t like ‘me’ enough to buy cool stuff.”

So that’s how I wound up driving home with a camera phone yesterday. I had $100 of Verizon’s money to spend on a phone, and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to spend every penny. I’ve got perceptions to maintain. The respect of my wife is at stake. The natural order hangs in the balance. The pecking order, no, nothing less than the Biblically ordained relationship between a man and a woman is a risk. Someone get me Jerry Falwell on the phone. Call the President. Bring in the Joint Chiefs. Break out the Bat Signal. DEAR GOD I NEED THIS PHONE!

It takes some of the worst pictures I’ve ever seen, but it does (technically) take pictures. That’s all that’s really important. Well no, that’s not it. It takes pictures and Cheryl’s doesn’t. THAT’S what’s really important. Rest easy my friends; the natural order has been restored.