There was a little girl at the Verizon Wireless store yesterday who could not possibly have been older than eight, maybe nine. She was there with her Nicole Richie-sized mother, who was buying cell-phone jewels, little stick-on sparkles for cell phones. Cell phone bling. To make a bedazzled cell phone. I guess. Anyway, the jewels were apparently for the little girl’s cell phone, the cell phone perched in a (bedazzled) pink case on the non-existent hip of her pint-sized (bedazzled) designer jeans. Laura took in this scene, right down to the pink-frosted lip gloss, which the little girl reapplied with great fanfare at least five times in the five minutes she was in the store.
Laura turned to me and said, “Can I pleeeeeeeease have my own cell phone?”
Mom: “Laura, you are six. You don’t need a cell phone.”
Laura: “Yes, I do. I really do.”
Mom: “No, you don’t.”
Laura: “Why not? What if I want to call Daddy?”
Mom: “Laura, you go everywhere I go and if you want to call Daddy you can use my phone.”
Laura stepped a few feet away from me in order to go stare more closely at the soon-to-be-sparkly cell-phone-clad child. Laura looked at her as though she were thirsty and the little girl had a Big Gulp. She glanced up at Laura and said, “How old do you have to be before you can get a cell phone?” Laura said, “Probably eight or nine.” The little girl said, “Wow, that’s a long time.” Then she expertly applied more lip gloss.