The cell phone bill arrived this week. I'd been wondering when it would get here.
It probably took so long because it's FREAKING ENORMOUS. Too heavy for the truck. Gave the mailman a hernia. I didn't know precisely how big it would be, but I knew I was in trouble when I discovered that Rebekah had bought herself a cell phone charger while in France.
See, she took her cell phone with her, but forgot her charger. "Perfect!" I chortled in my Evil Mother heart. She'd be able to text me to let me know she'd made her flights and transfers along the way there, but once it ran out of juice, that would be that. No international calls or texting. An oh-so-simple way to curtail the enormous damage a teen with a cell phone could do to the family budget when in a different country.
Of course we warned her of the dangers of international cell phone charges, but... she is fifteen. In fact, I had reasonable confidence in her ability to rein herself in, but... she never turns the damned thing off. She'll complain like crazy when friends wake her at two in the morning with a text or a call, but when I suggest she turn it off before bed, you'd think I'd suggested she poke out an eardrum so as not to hear it. And if she doesn't turn it off, people can call and text HER, can't they?
So, while Rebekah might be able to NOT make a call or send a text, do I have any confidence that half her class will also exercise similar restraint? HA!
She forgot her charger? Mwah-ha. I couldn't have planned it better had I tried. And then her brother mentioned the replacement charger. I emailed immediately, with shaking fingers.
"STOP USING YOUR CELL PHONE! DO NOT CALL, DO NOT TEXT! YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EXPENSIVE THAT CAN GET! TURN IT OFF, TURN IT OFF, TURN IT OFF NOW!!!!!"
It was too late.
The cell phone bill?
SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY-SEVEN DOLLARS AND SIXTY-EIGHT CENTS.
In eleven days.
I waited a day before I showed her the bill. I think this was the first time I've ever seen anyone "blanche". You read about it in books, but now I know what it looks like. Her skin went dead white, her big grey eyes flew as wide as I've ever seen them go.
"Seven hundred dollars?" Her voice was thready and weak.
"And fifty-seven, sixty-eight." Mine was firm. Because me, I'm over the shock. Time for action. "Good thing you kept your job, huh?"
Wow. You can go whiter than 'blanched' and still stay upright. Who knew?
We haven't worked out the repayment details yet. I figured one kick in the head was enough to start with.
To be continued...