Where’s My Phone? And Other Chasidic Tales

There is a chasidic story of Yankel the Tailor, who had dreamed that pot of gold lay under a bridge in a distant city. Although poor, he went to this city of his dream only to find the bridge guarded. The guard asked him why he was loitering, and Yankel told the guard about his dream. Said the guard, “You are a fool. Why, if I acted on every dream, I would go to Krakow to the home of Yankel the tailor and look under his stove because I dreamed that there is a pot of gold there.”

Do you use FindMyPhone? You may find yourself in a situation that looks very much like that of Yankel the Tailor.

If you do not have FindMyPhone, you should set up iCloud  account (Android has its own way) right after you read this blog post, and if you need ten reasons why you should, here they are:

FindMyPhone

  1. You can’t remember where you left your phone.
  2. You left your phone in a store (but don’t know where, or which store).
  3. You left your phone somewhere but don’t remember if you left it in a store or in a car.
  4. You looked under the passenger’s seat but couldn’t find it there because it had slid over to the driver’s side, so you think it’s gone.
  5. You looked under the passenger’s seat of your car but couldn’t find it there because it had slid to the driver’s side, so you think it’s gone.
  6. You think you left it in a store, and go back to the store, but it’s not there. It was in your house the whole time.
  7. It’s a lot cheaper to find your phone than to purchase a whole new iPhone.
  8. You think you won’t leave your phone anywhere so you won’t need to use FindMyPhone. Surprise.
  9. Your telephone is stolen. FindMyPhone confirms this, and you can now just wipe the telephone’s data from your iCloud account.
  10. You have a lot of data in your telephone. It’s not just a telephone. It has your physicians’ contact info, your business contacts and friends, perhaps financial information, and on and on.

Does this sound familiar?

We found a parking spot about one lucky block from the event, my husband was driving. He parked the car and we got out and began walking.

As we were walking, my hands began that dance. Pockets. Handbag. Back to pockets. Back to handbag. “Where’s my phone? I don’t have my phone.”

I said, “Let me run back to the car and get it,” and ran back, while my husband chose to wait right there. It was a autumn afternoon.

Back at the car, I looked everywhere around where I had been sitting, the doors, all the likely suspects. “Could I have left my phone at home?” I doubted it, but succumbed to that possibility.

Back to my husband, “It’s not there. It must be at home,” I said, slightly out of breath, slightly annoyed but trying not to show it. I was forced to confront the dark side of life – an evening without my cell phone. Forced to be a survivor. Could I do this? From this event we were going directly to another.

“What if something happens with my elderly mom?” I thought to myself. She’ll be alright, I answered. She’s in good hands tonight. “What if her aid needs to contact me?” I asked myself. On a Sunday night? I answered. She’s fine. She’s having dinner with her sister.

Did my mind stop visualizing my driving all the way back home and looking for my phone? It did not. Could I make it through two events? And still enjoy myself at both? I doubted it.

You’re making up crises, I answered. I’m here. Enjoy it. Focus on it. Honor the person we came here to honor. Can I do this? I had my doubts. My husband had no idea of the dialogue raging within myself.

Maybe this first event would end early and we could stop at home on our way to the second. That would reflect true obsession, and failure on my part. And the fact that home was completely out of the way to get to the second event. But no, as time ticked by, first the food, then the words of welcome and praise, then more words of welcome and praise, then the presentation of one award, then the presentation of a gift, then a musical interlude, then the presentation of an honor, then more musical interlude, then an encore (“NO!” I screeched to myself!), then words from the evening’s honoree himself, the first event actually went later! We might even be late for the second one, a musical one. No time to stop home. No time to give in to my obsession.

At the second event, a concert, I wanted a photo, and my husband used his cell phone camera. I had survived so far. I was even enjoying myself. Maybe I was enjoying myself even more than I would have, not having hands fidgeting every moment for my phone. The concert was great. Phones need to be turned off in concerts anyway. And it was a great concert.

It was time to go home, back home, into the driveway we pulled.

Without waiting for my husband, I jumped out of the car and walked in the front door. No phone on the front table. No phone in the kitchen counter. Upstairs. No phone in the bedroom. My office? Not there either. We both dialed my phone and he ran out to the car. Nothing ringing in our home. Nothing ringing in the car.

“I’ll try Find My Phone,” I called out. Powering up my computer, iCloud’s compass whirled around, then to my block, my very home, showing  my phone right where I was at that moment! But this did not make sense.

“Go drive around,” I told my husband.

“But I called your number and nothing rang.”

Just go. Maybe I had turned the sound off?

One minute later, FindMyPhone showed my phone on a journey.  I phoned my husband. “Are you heading down Comm Avenue, heading toward Centre Street?”

“I am,” he answered.’

“The phone is in the car.”

Back home once again, the car tucked in the driveway, he looked again in the car, this time under the driver’s seat. There was my phone. I had not been in the driver’s seat. I had been a passenger.

FIND MY PHONE. Amazing! Right in my car, right by my side, this whole time. And I probably had a better evening for not having it with me.

FOR SOME REASON THIS reminds me of the chasidic story of Yankel the Tailor, who had dreamed that pot of gold lay under a bridge in a distant city. Although poor, he went to this city of his dream only to find the bridge guarded. The guard asked him why he was loitering, and Yankel told the guard about his dream. Said the guard, “You are a fool. Why, if I acted on every dream, I would go to Krakow to the home of Yankel the tailor and look under his stove because I dreamed that there is a pot of gold there.”

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About Jane

The gravitar you see is Joey, narrator and protagonist of my book, "DOGS DON'T LOOK BOTH WAYS," 2015 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. Recently I have been film critic for newspapers such as "The Jewish Advocate," "The Jewish Journal" and "The Newton Tab." I love to bicycle, play tennis, and swim, and to participate in local community activities. My favorites are providing food for the needy, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and literacy.
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