But this tattling is germane to what I'm about to tell you.
When my sister was about 7 or 8 years old, New Kids on the Block were at the pinnacle of their popularity. Marketing was rampant, pop-radio airplay was nauseating, and fan-love was rabid.
One of the marketing ploys they used was particularly insidious. During children's television programming, they advertised a 900 number that you could call and talk to your favorite NKOTB boy. Of course, a 7-year-old girl doesn't know about the $2.95 connection fee and the 99c/minute fee thereafter.
I think you can see where this is going...When my mom got the phone bill, it was about $800. It may have been more, or less, but you get the point. For a person whose phone bill has always hovered around $50, I can imagine the reaction.
I just lived it.
Skip forward 20 years to cell phones.
Zac has had a cell phone for about 3 years now. The first 2 years he had a Firefly phone. It only allowed the user to make and receive calls from those numbers the parents programmed into the phone. After he proved responsibility with the firefly for 2 years, Santa brought him a regular cell phone last year for Christmas.
He's been doing very well with it. He hasn't lost it, broken it, or gone crazy with minutes. Every now-and-then he'll have a $1-$2 charge for a ring-tone or accidentally activating the mobile internet.
Yesterday, Jake brought in the mail. Among the political fliers, insurance company EOB, and offers for $100,000 home-equity lines of credit was the cell phone bill. My bill usually runs between $175 and $200, depending on the number of times we call information for a number or accidental internet activations.
MY BILL YESTERDAY WAS $923.43.
I couldn't catch my breath for possibly a full 10 minutes. Zac immediately blamed a friend of his for watching YouTube videos on his phone. Upon further examination, the truth was finally told. Zac was the one watching YouTube videos on his phone.
We had the usual words about how much $1000 is: almost an entire house payment, groceries for the month, a trip to Roswell, Thanksgiving break. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth. He brought me his savings and forgave the $100 I owed him to help pay the bill.
Thinking about this after a night's sleep, (and with the perspective of knowing that George called Cingular and retroactively placed a media package on Zac's phone so all of the charges fall under the new plan) I think it's kind of sweet and funny.
He's been a different kid this morning. I woke him up and he dressed immediately, ate breakfast, brushed his teeth and took care of the dog without any prodding. I'm not so sure I want to tell him we fixed it.