You know, I've complained about cell phones before, but I think I'm due to unburden about cell phones yet again.
First let me say that I have an abiding appreciation for the ways cell phones enrich our lives and make things so much easier. I have a close relationship with my parents, and I know it was stressful for us all when I would go on a road trip to visit grandparents in Arkansas by myself as a young woman--I would be out of touch with mom & pop, and they'd wonder how I was getting along on the road. Now there is no being out of touch - dad can call me on the road, or I can call him if I need to chatter someone to sleep. *** See footnote Of course, in the event of emergencies, that emergency services may be instantly summoned is of immeasurable value. There are probably too many good features of cell phones to name.
However, some of these same qualities render cell phones an extraordinary annoyance. Was it Plato who said something like one's very best qualities, unchecked, would act to destroy one? One of the good things about leaving the house used to be that you got away from the telephone. One could do their thing and not have someone hectoring them to give a blow-by-blow of their daily routine. Apparently, when people dial someone else up, the first thing they say is "what are you doing?" and then the person responds. I have overheard countless people in restaurants answer the phone and say "Hello. Nothing." Well, no, you're not doing nothing--you're eating in a restaurant (in some cases with a date) and you're disrupting other diners, jerk! Once in a Record store, a guy next to me answered his phone "Hello. Making a baby. What are you doing?" When in every case, the appropriate response would be "I'm talking to you."
On Tuesday I went into the restroom at school. This is a big modern facility with a row of about 10 stalls, and I proceeded to the handicapped stall, or, as I like to think of it, the executive stall. I had a bag of crap for my class, my purse and a coat, so I folded down the diaper station and stacked all my stuff on it. Then a chick came into the room spewing a rapidly babbling brook of spanish. At first, I thought she was two people, and then I realized as she entered the stall next to mine that she was on a cell phone. Blah blah blah, shut the hell up, lady. She could have taken any of the other 8 stalls not right next to me, but nooooo. So I'm putting on my coat and gathering up my things and I hear her peeing like everybody's business as she's chattering along. So I flushed the toilet about 4 times in a row, just to put my 2 cents' worth in. It never seemed to break the flow of her conversation. I guess when it came to talking to this friend, she simply couldn't wait.
As i griped once about the annoyance of cell phones, my English friend Rosie laughingly agreed what rude devices they are. Her nephew, Murray, was on a train from London to York and as soon as the train got rolling, an American man's phone rang and he proceeded to carry on a protracted business discussion with the person at the other end. Murray got up and approached the man and said "Excuse me, am I going to have to ride the entire way to York in your office?" and the American said "Yes." Murray, steamed, grabbed his coat and stormed off to another rail car. In York he realized he'd left his briefcase on the overhead rack of the first car, and of course it was gone when he went back to retrieve it.
Cell phones: meh.
[I have chattered dad do sleep, more than once. Like me, dad is a night owl and has trouble turning his brain off, so I consider it a mark of achievement that the dulcet qualities of my voice have enabled a tired man to get some much-needed rest. tee hee. I'd be talking along about whatever silly thing was interesting to me at the moment, and I'd hear his breathing, slightly raspy and very even. Awww, what a lamb! He's so sweet when he's sleeping! I'd just leave my phone off the hook so he could hang it up when he woke up, that way he wouldn't be jarred awake by that awful "your phone's off the hook" tone. Mom is always mad at him for running the juice out of the cordless phones. I suppose she should be mad at me, even though I haven't talked dad to sleep in a while.]