Very early on in my childhood I can remember my mom having a car phone. It sat in between the front two seats of her car and was used only for the most dire circumstances. A few years after that, she upgraded to a flip phone that was so small it could fit inside of your pocket. It wasn’t the most hi-tech device on the planet, but I could play snake on it if she made me go to the grocery store with her and that’s all I really needed to be happy. By sixth grade I was clamoring for a cell phone. Because of shows like “Laguna Beach”, “The Real World”, and “Next”, my pre-pubescent pea brain truly believed that by having a cell phone all of my girl troubles would fall by the wayside. “If only I could get a T-Mobile Sidekick”, I thought. Once I had that, I’d be getting handjobs in between classes and would definitely be feeling butts up at the next after school dance.
I look back on my formative years in middle school fondly. My friends and I? Absolute shitheads. The dregs of society. Ruthlessly mean to anyone who couldn’t keep up on the basketball court. I probably could have been nicer to people, but I had fun, and in the end that’s all I really care about.
We claimed to like girls. We would talk in hushed whispers at lunch about things we wanted to do with them, and every story (read:lie) that one of us had about hooking up with a girl was met by another story from someone else at the table that was filthier and more outrageous than the last. It was fun.
We all knew they weren’t truths, and the reality of the situation was that we were in fucking middle school. Sure, everyone had a few outliers in their group. One or two guys who had already had sex, but they were the exception. Most of us (me, especially) had a negative infinity chance of hooking up with a girl. It just wasn’t in the cards for me in middle school. I cared way more about playing basketball or trying (unsuccessfully) to shoot an 80 than I did about touching an underdeveloped pair of tits behind a dumpster. And then eighth grade hit, everyones voice got a little deeper, and people started getting cell phones.
I spent the entire summer leading up to my first day of high school without a cell phone. Calling my cool friends with cell phones on my landline like a goddamn serf. My parents refused to buy me one and I loathed going to any social function without having a cell phone. “Back Then” by Mike Jones still haunts me to this day. One of my best buddies from eighth grade had the infamous Motorola Razr, and everytime his cell phone would ring I’d wince a little, knowing that his status was elevated solely because of that stupid fucking phone in his pocket.
So somewhere in the middle of my freshman year of high school I finally got a cell phone when my parents realized that it was actually the best way to keep my ass in check. They could call me whenever they wanted and if I didn’t answer I was in deep shit. So I got one and all was right in the world. This was 2007. I slowly started to realize that girls were more fun than playing basketball was ever going to be. I grew my hair out. I drank one (1) beer and thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Text messaging was in it’s infancy. It wasn’t used as often as it is now to hit on girls. But as 2007 became 2008, texting just sort of became a thing without anyone noticing. Enter the LG VX8300 flip phone. My second cell phone. A work of art if I’ve ever seen one. The rounded edges, the front facing camera that you could use without opening the phone, the T9 word capability–all of it was truly stunning.
A turning of the tide if there has ever been one. 2008 was my coming out party. I had a little more confidence now. I was making progress with girls in school. Texting helped me immensely. Between Myspace and my VX8300, I was walking on water. I could rip off a T9-Word text message without even looking at my screen. I could text in my lap during class. Ripping off t-bombs at clips you couldn’t imagine.
At my peak, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that I could rattle off a four or five sentence paragraph long text in under thirty seconds. I credit the LG VX8300 as the reason I lost my virginity. The reason I was able to give up basketball because I started to realize I was incredibly average at the sport. I was still a malleable piece of clay in 2008, and that phone with incredible battery life deserves a lot of credit. That flip phone molded me into the man I am today, and I don’t think I’d be the same without it.
If the VX8300 was still being made and I could get Twitter on it, hand to God I’d throw my iPhone away right now and get one. But as with anything truly great, the joy ride eventually ends. I moved on to bigger and better phones. Phones with camera quality that allowed me to see parts of the vagina that I never knew existed. An evolution from T9-Word to a full keyboard. But make no mistake- I’ll always cherish the time I spent with the VX8300. Thanks for the memories, LG. I’ll never forget and I’ll always be grateful. .
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