So I think I might be a superhero.
I say this at 4:10 in the morning, one week into basically working two full time jobs (one fulfilling a three book contract for Simon & Schuster and one selling luxury cars-- all so I can afford to pay for an obscenely expensive private school for my gifted-special-needs child). But that's not why I'm a superhero. That's just why I'm tired.
I'm a superhero because I can stop watches with a single touch. Well, that's not exactly true...it takes several touches. In the past I usually had to wear the watch almost every day for about two weeks to a month. But still, the battery would always die. I noticed the problem when I was in my late teens. Every watch I wore would stop. At first I assumed I was buying defective watches so I'd return and exchange them. But after this happened about six times in year I gave up wearing watches. I tried again when I moved away for college but I had the same problem. The battery would just die. Eventually a doctor told me that a very small number of people have very high levels of magnetism in their skin. These people can't wear battery operated watches because...well, they stop. Since then I've read other articles that say it's not magnetism in the skin but electricity in the skin or body or maybe even static electricity. Whatever it is I have long since accepted the fact that if I need to know the time I need to have a cell phone.
The thing is, years ago, I read something that said this is a condition that sometimes become more...well, powerful with age. I didn't believe that when I read it. To be fair, no one believes any of this when they read it. There are countless message boards with people asking other users to help them explain why they stop watches when they wear them and countless responses to these posts which basically tell the asker that they're making the problem up. I obviously have reason to believe that they're not but...worse with age? Why would it become worse with age? And honestly, since I don't wear watches anymore it's not an issue I spend much time thinking about anymore. I don't even remember the name of the doctor who explained the whole magnetism-in-the-skin thing to me. I've just adjusted and moved on.
And then on June 8th I got a new smartphone and unlike the last time I didn't get a silicon protector case for it (which I usually buy simply so it won't break my phones when/if I drop them). I did get a leather case with a clip so i could wear it on my body while hiking.
Two days ago I discovered that my new cell phone battery wouldn't hold a charge. Okay, that happens. The problem was obviously that I got a defective battery or a defective charger or even a defective phone, right? I took it to Verizon. They tried to charge the battery with their charger. Nothing. So I bought a new battery that is supposed to have double the life of a regular battery...which also means it's double the size so it won't fit in those protective silicon cases, which means the only thing between me and the battery is a thin layer of plastic. I didn't think about this. At this point it still hadn't occurred to me that maybe I was the problem. It did occur to me that maybe the phone was the problem so I made sure they tried charging this new battery using my phone in the store before I bought it. They did, it charged, life was good.
And now this new battery won't hold a charge. It was only just now that I started to think about how similar this was to my watch problem. I started thinking about how I had the phone on my lap most of the day (about 8 hours) at work while I learned about the car models I'm expected to sell and for even more hours while I worked on my manuscript. I thought about how there really wasn't that much between my skin and this new battery.
So I woke up at 4 in the morning and I Googled: "magnetism in skin stops watches"and one of the pages that turned up was on askville.com. The question/comment was as follows:
Do your cell phones stop working?I am one of those people who can't wear a watch because it stops working. I have had three cell phones go bad on me in the past 2 years (...phone could not hold a charge anymore - i even bought a new battery for it...). I was wondering if any of you who have trouble with the watches stopping, are also having trouble with cell phones.