Poor ol’ mini me

These days everyone’s complaining about things getting bigger – SUVS, taxes, waistlines.

Forget about it. I’m aggravated by the mini movement.

No, not skirts. Honey, I gave up any knowledge of those sometime after the birth of my second child. What I mean is that my STUFF is shrinking: down sizing to the point where I can’t find a blessed thing.

Phones. Cameras. Stereos. Snacks. Everything is suddenly smaller than a pack of gum and I’m constantly in the midst of one of three stages of grief over another lost item.

Phone-y. Remember when car phones packed a punch? Mine was huge and would undoubtedly have maimed me in a roll-over accident. Nonetheless, I loved cruising around town calling my friends and saying things like “So, I’m passing your house riiiiiight NOW!” It had a battery life of about an hour and was never misplaced. It was the size of a small child.

Now I have one of those phones that can fit snugly in the palm of my hand and looks as if I bought it at Inspector Gadget’s yard sale. Fortunately, it’s very affordable to own, as I can rarely find the thing. I missed two calls just yesterday when the phone lodged beneath a breath mint in my purse.

Meanwhile, I have friends enamored of their newest and most microscopic mobile phones yet. These appear to be wafer thin titanium slivers weighing slightly less than a butterfly’s wing.

I can only imagine the next generation of technology: a cellular toothpick perhaps?

Music. This holds true for microscopic MP3 players. I’m of the boom-box generation, when even portable stereos were gigantic and you could sustain serious injury if you dropped one on your foot.

Now, minuscule music boxes that dangle from a necklace are all the rage. Meanwhile, I’m still reeling from the switch from vinyl albums (hard to misplace) to CDs (too small – I easily have three, four, or 26 of them under the seat of my car at any given moment. That wouldn’t happen with a 33 rpm Frampton Comes Alive vinyl LP, now would it?)

PC. Now, before I even have a chance to catch up to laptop computers, they beleaguer me with a new advancement called a jump drive.

I still cruise along the information superhighway in the breakdown lane, courtesy of my c. 1997 computer that at times reaches blistering ‘net speeds of up to 28k – unless it’s raining). I don’t think I’m ready for this much excitement.

Might as well jump. A jump drive lets you carry all your computerized data with you, as well as the aforementioned portable music, DVDs (Sopranos second season on the fly anyone?), The South Beach Diet,’ whatever, on a thimble sized key chain disk.

A friend foolishly lauded this advancement with the speculation that it would be so cool when I could carry archives of all my work, favorite fiction, and music with me on the go.

Sorry, no. All I can imagine is that I could not only spend untold hours each week searching for my car keys, but enjoy the added bonus of the panic when imagining that all my Super Disco Hits of the ’70s and a breathtaking masterpiece in progress about the kindergarten musical have gone down with them.

Big appetites. Worse yet, although we hear a lot of lip service being given to super-sized foods, I find that most of my favorite snacks are shrinking.

Mini mints, mini Oreos (blasphemy!), itsy bitsy crackers, teensy weensy individually wrapped cheese logs, and tiny little containers of yogurt all vie for attention on supermarket shelves.

Oh, how I miss the monstrous Lifesavers and gigantic cookies of old. Remember the gluttonous delight of downing a whole eight ounces of yogurt? Boy that was living!

This begs the question: Do we really entertain the notion that we will become a nation of people lamenting “oh I just couldn’t eat another bite of this dime-sized cookie?” or “who wants to split this 1/2 millimeter mint with me?”

Oh please. We’ll just have to rip open two, if not three, times as many packages to compensate.

Some savvy marketing genius has undoubtedly patented a tiny cellular stereo with a portable mini scissors option for just that compelling need.

Me, I’m springing for the optional microscope on mine, just so I can find the thing.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt likes accessories that are unwieldy, like small children. She welcomes comments c/o kseabolt@epohi.com or P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.)

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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