I had read that Bethenny Frankel, former “Real Housewives of New York City” star and Skinnygirl mogul, had tapped out her best-selling but probably not very literate books (though I haven’t read them) bit by bit on her BlackBerry, stealing moments in between being styled for photo shoots, negotiating multimillion-dollar deals, and mixing margaritas. So I thought I would try it myself—maybe not an entire novel but at least a whole blog entry.
When the idea occurred to me earlier this morning, I found myself in a coffee shop by myself with little to do but sip tea, listen to people discussing the Siberian meteor shower, and fret about whether my husband would be able to get our oldest daughter to ballet and manage her two siblings in the pint-sized waiting room without my assistance.
I’d forgotten Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Wait Till Next Year,” which I’ve lately been enjoying, or even the morning’s newspaper to pass the time. Furthermore, recently experiencing some blogger fatigue, I’d purposely emptied my purse of the notebooks I usually carry. But sitting alone and somewhat bored—I find it hard to relax into free time when I manage to secure it—I recalled that bit about Frankel trotting out her best sellers via BlackBerry and felt a competitive urge to use my recess in composition.
I’m sure by now that Frankel, rolling in her some odd $120 million, has managed to get one of her several assistants to upgrade her to an iPhone. I, on the other hand, have not. To me a BlackBerry, even one inherited as a castoff from a relative, still feels like the height of technological self-indulgence. At the same time, I find the BlackBerry to be graceless and counterintuitive: I had to Google the difference between “MMS” and “SMS”; I’m still sorting out a fluid navigation of my email on it; and I only discovered how to use the camera function after our twins’ winter school concert had concluded.
I must confess, however, that I felt quite smug when I finally figured out how to access the memo pad on my mobile device, sitting in my public perch in this bustling weekend-morning coffee shop. I had just finished a run with a friend, who’d long since abandoned me for family activities, including a 1-year-old’s birthday at her friend’s renovated mansion replete with a moat. I couldn’t resist making the inappropriate request that she excuse herself to the loo while within the castle walls in order to snap furtive pictures of the manse’s interior. I felt that this request was less inappropriate than my asking to tag along. And the upside of being uninvited to this party was that I was free to explore the wonders of Frankelesque BlackBerry jottings.
But during the cool down from our run on this damp and chilly morning, which followed a glorious false-spring day, my Raynaud’s Disease had taken its grasp on my fingers, turning them numb and white and purple. While I’ve always felt a tinge of honor at having a non-life-threatening condition named after a Frenchman, the truth is that the capillary constriction it entails presents an ongoing nuisance and certainly makes stabbing at a BlackBerry’s microscopic keyboard next to impossible.
I quickly realized that I would not be able to upload this entry directly from my mobile device—at least not if I hoped it to be comprehensible. “Comprehensible” appeared, when thumbed out, as “copehesbllm.” I may not boast much integrity as a blogger, but I do at least like to spell words correctly. And wielding my frozen sausage thumbs, I understood, yet again, that I was not nearly as dexterous as Frankel; that I would have to redo this on my MacBook Pro (whose battery, incidentally, has not been holding its charge); and that upon further viewing I might choose never to let this little memo breathe.
But then again, I figured, why not? My thumbs had undergone a kind of thaw, and I was making far fewer typos by the end. Who knows, maybe I’ll decide try this exercise again. Maybe, someday, I’ll even manage to publish a best seller, ticked out bit by bit on my anachronistic BlackBerry during stolen coffee shop moments.