Sometimes, you just have to laugh. As our dear Alanis Morissette would say, or sing, about life, “isn’t it ironic, don’cha think?”

Now, I don’t know if rain on a wedding day is truly ironic or just bad luck. But we won’t get too fussy about the definition. (As a fellow songwriter, I can appreciate the need for some occasional flexible leeway with the specifics of language.)

My recent interaction with irony has had to do with my cell phone plan. I used to barely use my phone until last year when it became my only phone, and as I realized my modest 200 minutes may not be enough, I keenly added an extra 1000 minutes as a more than healthy buffer. Adding just 100 minutes would have cost $7 so the 1000 for $15 was relatively reasonable. (By the way, I have an iPhone that was handed down by a friend after he upgraded, and while it may be an older model, it has more than sufficed for almost two years and been a big money saver for me. Thank you, kind friend!)

Now over this last year, I’ve become, finally, text savvy. Well, sort of. Okay, I don’t know all the textisms, beyond the basic LOLs. Though I do make up my own words as the previous sentence will attest to. So I’ve been texting away this past year and talking less and less.

I understand why texting is so popular; there’s the efficient immediacy of it, and to the pointness of it, as opposed to a wordy email. It can even remove barriers of sorts. So, I’m fairly into it, except for when I find it a bit exhausting. Either way, all those talking minutes have been languishing on the wayside, feeling rather neglected. Finally, I decided that since my after 5 pm free evenings and weekends seem to cover the majority of my talking time, the 200 daily minutes would more than cover my daytime brief interactions.

But I didn’t decide this until after about ten months of paying regularly for the unused add on minutes. And $15 a month over ten months can add up substantially.

So, enough playing it safe and wasting money. I went online and took off those extra 1000 minutes a few weeks ago.

Only then, cue Alanis, I met a cool guy. And within a few days my monthly daytime minutes were being sucked up like Dorothy and Toto in the tornado that took them to the Land of Oz. Ironic, but in a good way.

So now I’ve run over my modest package and have needed to add more minutes again, already. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on if one cares more about money than a potential love life), it soon appeared that by next month I could backtrack to my limited plan, as, you guessed it, Mr. Cool Guy, well, he didn’t quite warm up.

While you may have more consistency with phone use (and guys), unless everything on your plan is unlimited, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your minutes and data usage, either online or via your phone, and be aware of your plan’s flexibility – e.g. can you add a buffer on a month by month basis when need be? If you are limited in your minutes, can you focus on chatting evenings and weekends instead of in the daytime? And, maybe even turn off your phone in the daytime? I know, crazy idea. But you could check every couple hours for any texts that you need to respond to.

If your minutes are more important than your data, can you make a shift in your plan and increase minutes while shifting to a pay per use data plan, without increasing the overall cost? Do you know the time frame of your month by month dates so you could add changes in time before paying silly amounts per overused minute? If you have limited data like I do, can you be strict with its usage, favouring free WiFi when you are out and about, and limiting major access until you are at home? Because, after all, there’s no place like home. Pulling back the curtain and taking a closer look at your plan could help you see the true reality of your needs.

Minutes, and phones, and plans, oh my. It’s a lot to think about. The plan that works for you this year may be totally outdated by next year.

For myself, I’d rather have a few modest limitations and increased savings, but with the flexible capacity to make changes when applicable. Especially after wasting $150, when what I needed all along was right in front of me, just like it was for Dorothy.

Funnily enough, and very unusually for me, as far as cool guys go, barely even a day had passed before I met another very interesting chap. Is that good luck, is that ironic? I’m not sure, but my phone will be happily in use, while I keep an eye on her time.

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