Recently, a couple friends were sitting across from another young woman on the subway in the early evening when all their phone alarms began to clang. My friend called out: "Birth control!" They all gushed about the superiority of the shared 5 p.m. daily time setting for their pill reminder. ("It’s the best time, because you’re never asleep!")
It’s a modern bonding experience. When another girl’s phone alarm goes off at odd hours, we glance around for the zinging device. The movements are habitual: There are side-eyed glances to the world, the dip into the purse, an emergence of pinched fingers, and a touch down for ingestion. Sometimes there will be a small shared smile with passersby if you glance up at the right moment. Hey, fellow responsible modern woman! We’re everywhere! What a handle we have on the conveniences of modern life! How far medicine and technological devices can take us!