This week marked the beginning of a new era in our relationship. On 09 July at 2359hrs, Singtel ceased all its paging services. I bet this hardly registered as a blip on the radar of 99.99% of all Singaporeans but in our relationship, this was a significant moment. You see, now I get to call The Hubs on … dare I say it? A mobile phone.
Yes, while the rest of the world embraced the convenience of mobile phones, The Hubs clung on to his pager. While everyone else was fervently making calls and sending sms-es on their phones, The Hubs remained one of the last few loyal supporters of the public phone. While the rest of us had the contacts of friends and families stored in our phones, The Hubs relied on a trusty little list in his wallet and his memory.
His reason for not owning a handphone was simple: He didn’t need one. No one believed him. So we tried giving him phones under all sorts of pretext, hoping that he’ll get hooked. He happily gave them all away. Friends at our wedding pleaded in their wedding wishes “get a phone for your wife’s sake!”. He found it very amusing but remained unbudged. We tried laughing at him and he would whip out his pager and playfully challenge “is your phone smaller than this?”
One of the things I love about The Hubs is that he is so incredibly secure in his own skin. He does what he believes in and doesn’t give two hoots what others think. But as in all marriages, the traits you love are often the ones that also drive you up the wall. I ranted about all the germs he was picking up from public phones. I rationalised how much convenience he was missing out on. I whined about emergencies. I behaved as though he was communicating with the rest of the world using a messenger pigeon.
And then one fine day, I gave up and accepted the man for who he was. The reality was that it was hardly an inconvenience. More importantly, he was perfectly happy so what did it matter?
When the notification letter from Singtel came some time last year, I barely took notice. But on Thursday night, when The Hubs put his pager away in the drawer, I felt a little sad. I don’t know … it’s weird but I kinda grew attached to it. Or maybe I subconsciously didn’t want The Hubs forced to be like the rest of us. Anyhoo, any lingering wistfulness quickly disappeared the minute I realised that this meant The Hubs no longer had to touch grimey, germ-infested public phones.
Yes, the age of the dinosaurs has finally passed in our household.