“My phone is older than my son. And my son is nine years old!”
I was immersed in my book, but when I heard the ruckus, I lifted my head.
“How do you receive texts?” someone asked.
“I don’t,” she replied. “I have a dumb phone.”
Jennifer Perry had the whole crowd at the hairdresser enthralled. That was the most amazing part— the young women were crowding around Jennifer and jostling for position in order to get a better look at her antique device. Had these women never seen a mobile phone that wasn’t smart?
I couldn’t but be intrigued. She’s not a fan of new technology, the Luddite told me. “I hate answering machines. When we used to have one, I never wanted to hear the messages. I just wanted to delete them all, because I didn’t want to listen to them and be responsible for returning calls.”
Today, her reception at home is so weak that she can’t make cellular calls. And she doesn’t have a land line. It occurred to me that she might feel rather isolated. I asked how she communicates with people. “Email,” she smiled. She has Wi-Fi and an iPad that she loves. “I do everything on it,” she said.
It turns out that Jennifer is a an art conservator whose specialty is Japanese painting of the 15th and 16th centuries. She works in the atelier of an art museum, one where I once was a docent. As often happens in this wonderful city, we began to discover the little things we have in common.