Thursday, November 8, 2007


Fourth of July at the Sushi Ran bar, I watched two metrosexual executive producer types compare their gear. The more heavily accessorized of the two was experiencing major phone envy. Wearing a pork pie hat over a white do rag, Bono shades and a meticulously trimmed goatee wasn’t enough. His buddy was flashing an iPhone, and the Treo in his hand was so 48 hours ago.

I’m gonna get one. I have to get one.

He poured more sake into his tiny cup and looked very sad.

At the Marin farmer’s market, I witnessed another green moment. A vendor was describing his encounter with his sister’s iPhone. For hours they played with it. A customer interrupted scooping organic arugula into a bag long enough to detach his phone case from his belt. He flipped open the cover and the vendor moaned.

Oh, that’s it. It’s good you got a case for it …….it’s so cool …….

My son’s friend got one. Many parents struggle with the question of when or if to get their kids a cell phone. We resisted until I found myself hypocritically calling my son’s friend’s phones to let him know I was on my way to pick him up from lacrosse. It is without question the best way to keep contact with your 14 year old. That or lock him in the basement. After we ironed out the 400 dollars in text message charges, it has become a minor expense. But a 600 dollar phone for a kid?

As parents in Marin we are often confronted with these moments of bewilderment. Tweens are riding 2000 dollar mountain bikes. Your kid’s friend always has 20 bucks for snacks. Third graders have better laptops than yours, and now 14 year olds with an iPhone. I miss Marin’s feigned bohemia.

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