It kind of crept up on me.

In fact, I can't tell you when I finally realized that my husband's attention had been diverted.

At first, it's the little things... his attention span seemed really short, in fact, his head seemed focussed somewhere else entirely. In the middle of conversations, he'll stop mid-sentence (either my sentence or his) and jerk his head in another direction... usually towards his briefcase.

And then there are the musings, the buzzings in the middle of the night as he creeps out of bed and disappears.

When we were in Chicago for his cousin's funeral recently, I walked in to find him behind the curtain, against the glass of the highrise hotel window, communicating well beyond my hearing range.

This is unnerving.

It's his Blackberry!

He's functioned with one of those PDA (I think that's what they're called... a personal data assistant?) for a few years now. In fact, he's completely lost EVERYTHING from that little rectangular device several times and then spent tiresome hours re-entering it all. It's been enough to keep me clutching my bulky leather daytimer as if my life depended on it. Which it does.

But I digress.

The Blackberry entered our world last summer. It went out in the woods for firewood cutting; it lingered on his nightside table during sleeping hours. It rested on the bathroom vanity during toothbrushing intervals. It finds its way into the boat as we head out for a picnic. It's now his total communications. He talks on it, listens on it and thumbs on it all day long. He used to be a 10-fingered typist, but now he's suffering thumb fatigue as he sneaks into darkened corners during dinner parties 'just to check.'

A few weeks ago when Kid One married his one true love, I absolutely insisted the intrusive little thing be left behind in the hotel room dresser drawer. But no, it wiggled several times in his suit pocket during the festivities.

I'm not given to nasty reactions--usually--but honestly, I'd like to tuck the little thing away... in the freezer! What would happen to the inner mechanisms of a microchip if it spent time in the freezer, do you think? Or perhaps in the bottom of Georgian Bay. Or, perhaps tucked neatly in the base of the barbecue.

I've contemplated playing a hefty game of hide 'n seek with it... I hide it and he seeks... trouble is, he'd likely call himself and listen for it and run.

I've considered the nightly bonfire we enjoy at the cottage. Or, perhaps I could hoist it to the top of our flagpole. We have a tiny, but productive vegetable garden and perhaps it could 'fertilize' the pole beans!

As I write this, I recognize that I sound jealous about this device that has diverted all reasonable attention away from just about everybody in his life. It's true!

There's a 'gift' here, though. For the first time since we got our first coloured television (1973, I believe) the remote control is now available.

But just you wait. The RIM (Research In Motion) people will no doubt be incorporating the remote into the Blackberry. And the car keys. And perhaps the bank card. Hold on, the ride has just begun!

Thanks, Ivar.

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