I’d rather be a sushi whore than an iPhone freak.

I knew it was a long time coming. I’d suspected the ambush.

After all, it was 2013. I couldn’t remain principled for the rest of my life.

It had been difficult last year to find a simple phone with text capabilities. They had discontinued the one I wanted and it took literally months to arrive. But when it did I was pleased. And comforted.

And so I would be the one at the table, showing off my “dumb phone,” teasing the others about their covert texting and email-checking underneath the tablecloth.

I would remind my friends that I wasn’t “on” the group text messages because I had a “dumb phone.” It was a lovely excuse to plead ignorance.

I would jot down directions to places on paper, memorize roads, actually KNOW my cardinal directions. I would call nick if I got lost – but it did not happen often.

I would text google for addresses and phone numbers, brag about only checking my email on my home computer, and go weeks without charging my phone.

I always told Nick that I’d rather have sushi once a month than a $30 data plan. He would roll his eyes and call me a “Sushi Whore.”

Deservedly and unabashedly so.

I like the king crab with American Caviar, the kaibashira, the masago, the ikura, the seared salmon aburi belly.

From Sushi Den down the street. Or the old Izakaya Den in all of its cozy charm.

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So yes. I would rather the fish than the phone.

I would teach the word “luddite” in my English course – and then tote around my 3 “vintage” dictionaries from my dictionary orphanage – to show them actual bound dictionaries do exist. We would talk about what books contained what words. No “iPhone” or “tweet” or “electronic leash” in any of these versions.

But then it happened. He came home with a new iPhone5. And I knew I was supposed to be excited. And grateful. And I knew I should experiment and put in my numbers and let him show me all the cool stuff. But I was tired. And I had just graded 40 papers. I wasn’t excited. I was overwhelmed. And a little sentimental. And so it sat, my forlorn iPhone, in its box, waiting to be enjoyed – or appreciated at least.

And I grumbled. Because now, not only did my beloved “dumb phone” not work, but I didn’t know how to use my new device.

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And, to be honest, one of the reasons I had avoided it for so long is because I knew I was… susceptible.

Predisposed. Vulnerable.

Susceptible to absorption.

Susceptible to becoming

obsessed.

Susceptible to becoming one of those people who acts like their glowing screen is more important than the human being in the same room as them. One of those people who fails to see gorgeous scenery or notice an intricate spiderweb or a vivid sunset because they are too involved with who-knows-what on the device. One of those people who declares that we have to “google” every single question, trivial though it may be. One of those people who puts everything on Facebook in real-time. One of those people.

It was like Pandora’s box – waiting for me on the kitchen table. Tempting me with its capabilities. Egging on my compulsive tendencies.

And so. I got a case for it. I spilled a cookies and cream Chick Fil A milkshake on it (a christening?). I killed the battery completely. I configured Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Modcloth. I figured out how to make it stop buzzing every time I got an email. I learned how to use Snapchat (oh, freakin’ Snapchat!)

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And then suddenly, all of my fears were at once confirmed and invalidated. Yes. I have the potential to be one of those people. I do like my new toy. I check text messages and Snapchats at stoplights (not when the car is moving). And yes, I do find myself reaching for it a more than I used to reach for my old Pantech.

But I also feel connected. To people I haven’t connected with in a long time. The folks who “like” my Instagram photos. The ones who send me funny and random Snapchats. The ones who are suddenly so much easier to get in touch with. I can be part of the funny group text messages. I can respond to emails in a timely manner. I can (gasp) look up directions and addresses on my own. I can give shout-outs to local businesses when they do an exemplary job. I can capture moments that I would otherwise never get in time.

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And I can use my phone to get through the airport (this was a new one for me en route to Cape Cod last weekend).

So yes. I like it. I still have my reservations.

But all of that foot-dragging, those stolid, stubborn “down to earth” explanations… they make me appreciate the device that much more. And they make me extra conscientious about my iPhone behavior.

But not to worry.

I’m hoping to somehow wrangle my monthly sushi. Because in the end, some things never change. Fish trumps phone every time.

Especially when it’s Izakaya Den.

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