>Some weeks I go to sailing with some friends (guy I sail with and his wife). Other weeks my Dad takes me and the friend who sails. It works well because it means I get some independance from relying on my parents but I don’t feel guilty about asking a lot of friends all the time. Plus either my Dad or A get to stay home rather than both being dragged out when we all live in the same town.
My Dad’s been doing some work on my garden lately and had said that he’d get me in the boat this week (his turn to drive) then go off to homebase to get the stuff. He reckoned it was half an hour, 40 min job and probably be back not long after I finished sailing if not before. He also took my handbag with him because he didn’t want to leave it in my sailing kit (I only take the bear minimum to sailing and empty the rest out before so wasn’t overally bothered if he did).
So I went out for a sail and was out for about half an hour. Not as long as we expected but not far off – I came in at that point because they wanted the boat for someone else. It’s the first time that’s happened since I’ve sailed solo and several other people have been called in for me so I didn’t mind.
Anyway usually my Dad sees me coming and wanders over to help me out the boat. There was no sign of him but I was earlier than expected and there were plenty of people who know how to help me around so it was fine.
Then one of the volunteers came over and said “Emma, your Dad’s not here.” and I was all “yeah he’s gone shopping I know.” and she told me no, my friend had gashed his foot and Dad had taken him to the minor injuries unit and would be back once he’d dropped him off.
So I was a bit freaked out and I was worried about my friend. But not having my handbag was much more of an issue to me than I expected. The lack of money to buy a drink bothered me but was fine… I asked the barman for a glass of water and he was all “just water? No coke?” and I explained and he let me have it and pay him back when Dad got back.
Went back outside and chatted to a bunch of people and hung around. And I was fine. And I knew I was fine. That fact I didn’t have my phone, however, drove me somewhat crazy. It made me really anxious.
I was the first of my friends to get a mobile. I got it when I was 16 a few months before the phone craze took off. And I got it because my parents thought I should have one in case I ever fell or broke my chair while out.
Over the past 11 years there’s been several occasions I’ve had to use it in emergencies like that (including today when I got a stone caught in my wheel and was moving but couldn’t get it out and was worried about it jamming and breaking the chair so stopped and waited till Dad got to me). There was also one occasion when I had a pay as you go phone, chair battery died and had no credit on my phone (luckily I was on my road and my Dad was coming round twenty minutes later so found me). I’ve had a contract phone ever since. Rarely use anywhere near all my minutes and texts but it’s worth the piece of mind.
And once or twice I’ve been with someone in the pool or a restaurant and had access issues getting back to them – I’ve used it then if I couldn’t get anyones attention. If that happens I usually just ring their phone then hang up and hope they come looking.
So as much as at times I get annoyed by non stop texts (usually the silly chain texts type things) and all that, my phone is my lifeline and I rarely leave the house without it. Usually it’s either because I forgot it wasn’t in my bag or because I have got it but I’ve missed that the battery died.
Not having it on Tuesday freaked me out a little. No matter how much I knew that I could 90% guarantee my Dad didn’t have his on him and even if he did it would be switched off while he drove. And I knew that I was surrounded by friends and if anything happened someone would have a phone I could borrow. But my lifeline wasn’t there. It surprised me that it made me that anxious but it really did.
Thinking about it now if I suddenly didn’t have a phone I don’t know if I would feel as confident going places as I do now. I used to in those long ago pre phone days. But then I didn’t know any different. And more importantly I was a teenager who didn’t go as far from home or need to do as much as I do now.
In the end my Dad was back sooner than I expected (I’d just asked one of the others how long he thought it would take to get there and back when he turne up) and all was fine.
My friend is OK too I hear. But I was slightly amused when Dad got back to the sailing club. First he had to explain to me exactly what he’d done. Then two or three other people came over separately to ask if N was OK. And each time my Dad stood there and explained the injury and you could visibly see that he was making himself cringe with the thought of it as he did so – and the rest of us too. I am amused by stupid things.