The Perils of Cheating

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Frustrated with my phone, I might have marched into the Apple Store yesterday. My phone has one of the recall batteries. All I really need to do is make an appointment and have the battery replace – for free – since it’s recalled.

But, for whatever reason, I just haven’t made and kept the appointment. So I suffer along, ever-wondering if 53% battery life means 53% or if the phone will die in a matter of seconds. I’m living on the edge. Never sure if I will momentarily be completely cut off from civilization as I know it. Alone. Stranded in a carpool line with nothing but my thoughts!

But another issue of late compelled me to finally address my phone issues. The phone quit receiving incoming texts. For all I know, the outgoing texts didn’t send either. But who can say? All I know is my complete and utter lack of responsive communication was leaving a path of frustration.

“Thanks for ignoring me,” Snopes said as she sat down for breakfast.

“What?”

“Yeah – I texted you last night… to apologize … then to reach out because I needed to talk. I asked you to come up and talk,” she said. “But I guess you were too busy with whatever you do to come and pay any attention to me.”

Huh?!

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I tried to defend myself. “I didn’t get a text.”

She avoided further conversation. But a brother was quick to join in as was a sister.

“She was probably playing on her phone – and couldn’t break to read a text.”

“Yeah – Candy Crush. She’s started playing again.”

“Oh – she’s addicted,” added the brother. They nodded at each other, confirming the diagnosis and pathetic-ness of it all.

“I was not playing Candy Crush,” I splatted back. “And I’m not addicted.” My word – you join in their games once or twice and now it’s an addiction. “I really didn’t get the text.”

“Whatever,” the hurt daughter shrugged. “I just wanted time with my mother. Most mothers would be thrilled their teen daughter wants to talk. But….”

The morning zoomed on as we raced to get everything together and everyone out the door. But when I got home from school drop-offs, I screenshot my texting thread with her. Proof that I did not get her text message. So there.

By that point, it genuinely didn’t matter.

But the next day, I had the same problems with a few friends who had been texting me and wondering why I wasn’t responding.

Apparently, nothing was coming or going from my phone. And I was quick to blame that darn thing. As if the battery life issues weren’t enough – now I was leaving a trail of frustration in my lack of communcation.

So I marched into the Apple Store to give them a piece of my mind and to let them know how my life was being affected by a defective phone.

“Beyond the battery issues,” I told the clerk, “I can’t receive texts!”

“That’s strange,” the guy said.

“Yes,” I agreed. “And rude.”

“Let me look at your phone,” he said. He took it and whirled around all the screens in lightening motion. How do they do that?! And then he announced the verdict.

“Somehow your date is off. It’s set to think that tomorrow is today.”

“What?”

“Yeah. Bizarre. All you need to do is set the time and date for now.” Then he laughed, “I wonder how that happened.”

Standing there, I knew exactly how it happened.

I had done it.

And I actually admitted it, almost dying laughing while I did. “Oh my goodness. I re-set it.” With the guy staring at me, assessing my looniness, I continued, “I had run out of lives on Candy Crush. And my son, who is a few levels ahead of me, somehow never runs out. And he sort of hinted at a way to trick the game into thinking time has passed. He wouldn’t tell me how, so I did it myself by re-setting the phone’s date for to be tomorrow.”

The guy isn’t laughing, but I am. He’s just blank-staring me, probably feeling sorry that my kids have such a weird mom. “The texts got lost … all because of Candy Crush,” I shook my head.

The guy wash shaking his, too.

Realizing the embarrassing element involved in all this, I thank him, snatch my phone and try to make a quick get-away.

In all my life, I have never, ever, been able to get away with a single thing. I always get caught. So I really just don’t skirt the edges. Why do it? I never works for me. And – the truth is –  I actually thought about that when I re-set the date to get more lives so I could keep on playing. It’s a game – who cares? I convinced myself. But it was wrong. And, of course – I would get caught.

I share this all with you for two reasons: 1) to blanket apologize to all the people who have been unintentionally ignored this week due to my communication issues, and 2) to be the live-out-loud example that cutting corners, even in something as ridiculous as a app-game, is never a good idea.

Well, the latter has been the lesson I’ve tried to point out to my kids. I’m not sure they are hearing it though. The laughter and legitimate hard time they are giving me is loud … and deserved.

Thanks for walking the road with me.

-Kay

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