Pocket Problem

imageI was in the lab store. Stacks of denim flanked the walls with a colorful sea of neatly folded graphic t-shirts on tables in between. The denim team was discussing the merchandising for the Women’s back-to-school line. I picked up a pair of jeans from the Men’s area to check the content label, but instead was surprised at how much material constructed the front pockets. I could easily slide in my entire palm, a cotton cave for the hand. Women’s front pockets never permitted this fabric allowance.

My mind went to all the times I stood in harshly lit fitting room and automatically went to put hands in pockets and–denied. Sometimes “pockets” are half scraps sewn shut, creating only the illusion of the feature, a magic trick in apparel. The only functional front pocket left is the coin pocket and who actually uses it? As I learned in corporate retail, Women’s pants with functional thigh pockets, like Nordic parkas in Florida, won’t sell. We stocked our shelves with desired, slim profile choices.

While this piece is about a pocket issue, it’s not a rant on the depressing nature of impractical fashion design. You can read the history of useless pockets here if you’d like that.  My problem: what if you need pockets for stuff? Carrying a bulky tote is annoying when I have to use my cane to mobilize. I would be no hands-free with a big bag and white cane. Cargo pants are circa the 90s. So, where should my ever-present accessory, my phone, live? I have a reputation for missing phone calls and texts. I need a good pocket.

This problem was apparent when I was sorting dirty laundry into piles. As I bent over to grab a sweater, my phone slipped out of my denim pocket. On exit, it was two feet, maybe three feet off the ground. It clattered onto the hardwood floor and I definitely yelled THAT word.

I grimaced. It was only a month since I cracked my tablet screen when, in another freak movement, either I accidentally nudged it or I didn’t place it fully on the counter (thanks, wonky depth perception) and it fell. The nearby tech repair place installed a new tablet screen in a few hours. My pride took a hit, but at least my paycheck covered it. Shop local.

I stared at my cute houndstooth phone case which stared back at me, the rock I would have to look under. My heart sank. This is why I can’t have nice things I thought to myself as I reach down and flipped my phone over to assess the damage. Yep, another screen cracked.

close up of cracked phone screen. Looks like a spider web of damage.

Luckily, I do have phone insurance. Stockton helped me figure out how to file a claim. Deductible paid. A few days later the replacement phone arrived. Transferring my data to the new phone ended up being a hassle and Stockton had to intervene, but eventually I was set.

Until the phone started crashing after it went into lock screen mode. I restarted. I recharged. I closed out of programs. In a few moments, it still gave me the death stare of the black screen. Over and over. If I listened to music or a podcast it would not, but after a week of turning sound low and letting a long podcast play at half speed all day, Stockton firmly told me it was time to address the issue.

Thanksgiving eve I contacted the insurance company. The customer service rep troubleshooter and informed me if problem persisted to call back the next day. “Yup, we’ll be open on the holiday. 24 hours, someone will help you.” When I worked in a call center for a payroll processor, even we didn’t work late in the evening or major holidays. Those 24/7 hours, that’s the power of the phone addiction in America.

A few days later, my replacement replacement phone arrived. Stockton transferred my data and it’s working. Probably because my smartphone is jailed in an otterbox case. I’m told I’d have to throw my phone down to break it now. So now, there’s only one problem left. I still can’t fit my protected phone in a pocket.


Who else has cracked a screen? How did you fix it? How do you prevent broken phones? Would you wear a Victorian pocket in the 21st century? Tell me about it.


12 Comments Add yours

  1. That is why I make my own pants. My pockets are as big as I want!

    My other mother once insisted I take a pair of jeans she had to give away. She claimed they were stylish. I could barely get them almost on. They didn’t reach up to my (high) waist. They didn’t have pockets. I asked here where I was supposed to put my keys and my purse, and she couldn’t answer.

    I never did wear them. Sent them to Goodwill rather quickly.

    1. Well that’s a way to fix the problem!

  2. Fanny pack? Is that an option?

    1. Giggling over here. Only if it’s bright pink and I can swear a snap bracelet as well as a side ponytail. You in?

  3. Casee says:

    For blue jeans, I get the men’s version because of the deep pockets they have. Now that the “skinny jeans” are around they fit as well as a pair of women’s jeans on me. I have never broken a phone screen. I seem to break my phones with sim adapters that get stuck in the phone! I have a phone case that hangs from my neck which leaves my hands free and allows me to hear it when it rings. It looks a little dorky but I have several of them in different colors in leather. I am past the point of sacrificing function for style but I know that is not a compromise others are willing to make. I already draws attention so I will stick with my phone case hanging from my neck. 🙂

    1. Ingenious idea with the men’s skinny jeans, Casee. I like the hands free benefit of a phone-on-a-lanyard. Maybe etsy has some cute options.

  4. charliejenny says:

    Some woman’s jeans have big pockets (I generally wear boot cut, so maybe that is the reason). I have broken two phone screens. Both were I phones.

    1. Glad to hear you’ve found some decent pockets, a diamond in the rough.

  5. Joy says:

    Oh my gosh Susan! I haven’t cracked my screen, but I once put it in my back pocket and forgot when I went to the bathroom and it slipped out of my pocket and into the toilet!

    1. Eeek! Total nightmare. I hope your phone didn’t die b/c of the toilet time. .

  6. Trisha says:

    I haven’t yet cracked a screen but I’m always in a tantrum about no pockets. I need pockets, especially when I walk the dog, and exercise pants have no pockets. It’s ridiculous! I’m glad your replacement replacement phone is working.

    After reading the comments here, I’m going to check into men’s pants! Pockets are more valuable to me than fashion. 🙂

    1. Pockets are underrated. And I’m glad you haven’t cracked a screen like me, Trisha!

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