Damara Hutchins

Thank you for not talking

Something has been seriously getting under my skin lately. When I say "lately" I mean for the past 10 years, but since I'm fairly slow to anger when I'm not driving or in line at Walmart, I've been holding in my frustration on this topic until now. What has my feathers all ruffled? It is the gratuitous use of cell phones. I'm the first person to admit that I have a disturbing and unnatural attachment to my cell phone. It is an iPhone and it has a pretty case that is a reproduction of Van Gogh's "Starry Night." It stays by my side at all times and contains cool music, my link to the Internet, Facebook, every important phone number on the planet, and has the most annoying robo-assistant to help with any question I have, but rarely gives me the answer I am searching for. Frankly, I'm surprised I haven't named the blasted thing. Now that I have confessed that bit of information, I will say that I use my phone in public on occasion. It usually isn't easy because my carrier is behind in technology by about 15 years. So when I'm in the grocery store and I want to know if my son wants green or red apples, I have to go all the way to the very front to acquire a signal. It really isn't worth it.
I also don't have reception in any other major stores or at my job. This means that I am off the grid if I'm not in my car or at home which is fine with me because I don't like to be bothered while I'm shopping anyway. Please leave a message. Apparently, this isn't the case with other individuals. My family and I went out for a nice breakfast at a local pancake place one morning not too long ago. It was nice because we didn't have to prepare it ourselves. Also, nothing beats having a syrup selection that includes butter pecan and strawberry. No one needs that much sugar in the morning, but smothering your pancakes with one of those after diving into a massive bacon and cheddar omelet felt so right. When we sat down, the problem was immediately clear and seated directly behind us. He was well into his call about, get this, weight loss. How incredibly inappropriate given the gluttony that was about to occur at our table! The guy's daughter was sitting at the table with him as he rattled on with his sales pitch about an effective workout routine. My husband rolled his eyes. As a salesman, he hears this stuff all day long. I felt bad for the kid. If I'm going to ignore my children while I talk on my phone, I at least try to do it in the privacy of my own home where no one can witness it. In line at the grocery store the other day, a different gentleman was talking on his wireless headset. Those are even worse because first you think the person is talking to you; then you think they are crazy; and then you finally realize they are on the phone. Most phone etiquette rules advise to stay at least 10 feet away from others while on your call and never to use the phone in certain places like restaurants, elevators and funerals. It is silly we have to tell people this. I almost miss the days when you had to be at home to make and receive phone calls. Almost. damarainsebring@hotmail.com