Family Plan Shame

Screenshot 2014-07-21 13.27.19I was thinking today about the brokest I’ve ever been, and then did a PRIVILEGE CHECK on myself, which is a thing I do hourly (JK). It’s kind of like in yoga where the teacher does a scan of every part of your body and tells you to relax it. Relax your jaw, relax your neck, relax your clavicle (???). I have a degree, my landlord didn’t evict me for bouncing a check, I was of sound mind and body, I let men take me on dates for which I had no ability to pay, I WAS ON THE FAMILY PLAN and so had no cell phone bill to speak of.

I think my sister, who is 28, is still on The Family Plan. I was until I was 24—an early bloomer almost! I only got off of it because, well, tbqh it was because I got a job where everyone had iPhones and they made fun of me for not having one. My family had Alltel (FLORIDA!) and at the time you could only get an iPhone with AT&T and so there I was, stuck in the middle of an economic downturn with my first job and something to prove.

My mom gave my flip phone to my 90-year-old grandmother, who soon got text messages asking how she was, baby? I had wondered why that guy never texted me back. Heh. I paid $600 for my stupid phone, barely passed the credit check to sign up for phone service, and then paid $100 a month for the next rest-of-my-life. Was it worth it? I don’t know guys. That’s six years, roughly $7,200 in phone bills so that my coworkers wouldn’t make fun of me in 2008.

But think of all the hilarious tweets I have tweeted while away from my computer and then regretted soon after.

All the times I didn’t get lost and instead walked the worst way possible because Google Maps is fucked.

All the photos I took that I proceeded to lose by dropping my phone(s) in the toilet.

I guess the question is whether I would have stuck it out and stayed on my mom’s phone plan until now. Would I, a 30-year-old woman, have let my mom continue paying for my phone? Would she have done it? I kind of think she would have. I bet she would have told me I needed to start sending her $30 a month or $60 a month or whatever it is, and I would have said, “FINE!” and then we would have both forgotten about it.

The only thing that would have stopped me is shame. I’m not sure when it would come up—when I’d admit that my mom still paid my cell phone bill—though like most things I’m ashamed of I would probably bring it up at every opportunity, to atone.

But maybe Family Plan Shame is stupid. Maybe we should all be doing everything we can to have lower cell phone bills. Maybe my new family and my family of origin should be combining forces and paying our cell phone bills all at once. Maybe we should move to a commune and have one Twitter account and only the best tweets go up. Or something.

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