Sunday, October 17, 2021

An elderly Chinese grandparent’s WhatsApp buddy

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I had an amazing phone that my mom loved because it was always ready.

I went to college, but still loved to use the thing with me. I was getting tired of having an upgrade-based app/based phone conversation every semester. That made switching to iPhone all the more difficult.

My mom needed one. I needed one.

There was also a wallet app I loved that then, with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S8, became irrelevant as phones were enhanced to do everything I wanted. The thing I loved so much didn’t really exist anymore.

So, on a Sunday, I looked at my smartphone. I touched the home button three times.

“And do you know what time it is?”


“I haven’t a clue”

“Just start calling my mom, please.”


I started calling my mom. I answered. And then I’m somewhere on the top of the text-messaging list because I get messages.

“Hey, Maggie, can I borrow your phone?”

“Sure, if I’m free tonight.”

“But I don’t work at home. I work at the law firm.”

“Yeah. I’ll just call you back. What’s your phone number?”

“Uh, Miriam. ”









I’m on the phone with my mom because I get an email from Google saying that my mom was on a call from the following phone number: 84-30-84-30-00. I thought my mom was on the phone with Miriam.

I called her.

“Miriam. I was calling your phone from Thursday. Can I get an update on the call we had?”

“Yeah, sorry. I’m meeting with a colleague today and I couldn’t get a hold of you for about a week.”

“Okay. I’ll leave a message and I’ll call you again.”

“Picking up. Is your phone, um, the same size as my iPhone X, or is it bigger?”

“It’s actually bigger than my iPhone X, which we gave to you two weeks ago. And I thought it was a bit too big at first, but you know what, I think it’s good, you know? I don’t think you need to get a new phone just because it’s too big. I love you, because you’re a little bit too big, you know?”

“This doesn’t work. I’m on speaker phone.”

“Well, ok. I guess we’ll leave it at that.”

“Ok. I’ll call you back later.”

“Dude, your phone is adorable.”

“Oh, thanks. Please, please, please.”


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