Homeland Insecurity: The paperless grocery list
by Lisa Davis
Special to The Star
Apr 28, 2013 | 1495 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If you happen to see me out and about, and I am studiously staring down at my phone and tapping on it, please do not think me rude. I’m just making a list.

(OK, I might be playing Candy Crush Saga, in which case I am being rude.)

I am trying to do my part and go paperless. Instead of scribbling notes to myself on scrap pieces of paper, I have been using the notes function on my phone.

The upside of going paperless is that I no longer lose my scraps of paper in the bottom of my purse.

The downside is that I spend a lot of time on my phone.

I bumped into a friend at the library a few months back, at the height of flu season. We chatted about our various ailments, and he recommended a new cold remedy for me to try.

I promptly whipped out my phone and started tapping on it.

My friend then made a wry comment about a New Yorker cartoon he had seen recently, about a man with a cell phone surgically attached to his hand or something.

“Oh no!” I exclaimed as I realized he thought I was ignoring him because of a sudden, uncontrollable urge to check my messages. “I’m not checking my email or anything. I’m writing myself a note to buy some zinc lozenges.”

I’m not sure he believed me. But these days, if I don’t write it down right away, I will not remember it.

I now keep all of my shopping lists on my phone. The best part is that I no longer get to the store only to realize that I’ve forgotten my list. But the virtual grocery list has its drawbacks, as well.

Typing is a lot slower than scribbling. Especially for those of us who are too old to learn new tricks like typing with our thumbs.

It can be very awkward carrying a phone around the grocery store. I can no longer hold my list between my teeth when I need both hands to fill a bag with apples in the produce aisle. Plus the screen keeps going dark.

And, yeah, I look like an obsessed rude person, wandering the aisles of Target pushing a cart while staring fixedly down at my phone.

You’d think it was surgically attached to my hand or something.

But the worst part — or maybe it’s the best part — is when my phone auto-corrects the spelling of things on my grocery list.

The phone always changes “TP” to “to.” I have wasted many minutes trying to figure out which aisle the “to” is on. Because of course I can’t remember what it is I really needed.

When I typed myself a note to pick up “meds” at the pharmacy, my phone instead decided I needed to pick up “mess.”

“Febreze” became “Ferber.”

The crowning moment came when I tried to type “refried beans.” Auto-correct changed it to “recrudescence.”

I had to look that one up. “Recrudescence” is “a new outbreak after a period of abatement or inactivity.”

Sort of like me trying to get a handle on my lists.
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Homeland Insecurity: The paperless grocery list by Lisa Davis
Special to The Star

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