Noted

I’m Suffering Separation Anxiety…

Filed under Noted

…from my long-distance carrier. I’ve been using Vonage for the last five years. I love it. But I have to come to grips with the fact that even though Vonage supplies me with limitless phone calls to all of North America and most of Western Europe for $25 a month, I’m double-paying for my domestic calls, which I get for “free” with my more expensive cell phone service…which I hate using. So now, I’ve got to drop the phone carrier I love using, and use the phone that I hate, because, alas, in the world I now live in, I don’t have to have a landline, but I must have a cell phone.

It’s got to happen. $25 bucks a month is $400 a year. That’s a lot of cash that could go into the Roman Apartment fund. I’ve been avoiding changing my phone over for too long.

I’ve known I was wasting money on duplicate domestic phone service for years now. And even though I hate how cellular technology now controls some of my choices in life, it’s not my hatred of cell phones that has kept me from ditching my landline, but my sentimentality.

Vonage isn’t actually a landline. It’s VOip. My phone service and number travel wherever my computer goes. It was an amazing business tool in 2006 when I was on a working vacation in Italy. I could call my neighbor in Los Angeles, by dialing seven digits. People in LA had no idea they were calling me in Rome unless I told them. 11-digits connected me to everyone I worked with. Cheap and easy international calling was one of the things that actually made me believe that I could be an expatriate, yet still get work from Los Angeles. It made living abroad seem totally possible. So, I haven’t wanted to give up Vonage, because somehow that seems like I’m giving up part of the dream of living in Rome.

Yes, I’m sentimental about my phone service. And, yes, that is stupid.

I brought this up at lunch today with my friend Diana. She knows exactly how I feel. Well, not about Vonage, but about feeling connected to something that isn’t even cute or personifiable. Her bank is gouging her with so many extra fees so she’s going to have to switch banks and give up the bank card number she’s had since college. “It feels like I’m breaking up with my VISA card,” she wailed for dramatic effect. At least I’m not alone.

I wonder how much the average American wastes on sentimentality every year?

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