Well, technology again.
I was going to do this yesterday in the DFW Admiral’s Club, but my mouse died (yes, you can laugh). So I only posted that little Facebook teaser you may have seen from the Droid. I am now back in the digs, and have had to borrow MFO’s wireless mouse (without her knowledge).
So, I have lost a little of my vitriolic edge. But dear cell phone lady, this is for you. I know you won’t read it because you won’t have your phone out of your ear or thumbs flashing on the blackberry long enough.
It all started in the LAX waiting lounge Thursday morning. Getting to the airport quite early, I had been relaxing in the Admiral’s Club, and finally wandered down to the gate a few minutes before boarding. [Since I don’t travel much anymore I spent some of my (expiring) American Airlines miles (and now cash!) to upgrade to first class – more on this another day]. Anyway, I arrived shortly before boarding began and settled into a chair to await being beckoned to board the aircraft. I became aware of a lady next to me with her cell phone in her ear. She was fairly well dressed, maybe in her fifties (?) and maybe she had been “worked on”as she had that kind of taught face, not that I notice these things. She had one of those Pandora (?) bracelets on her wrist, you know those things with little knobs of various shapes. Anyway, she was talking loud enough for her other party to hear as well as half the people in the lounge. “well, we’re just going to have to let her management know that she is not suitable for the team” and other business related inanities, that I at least would not want to share with most of the gate 48A folks. But she of course was oblivious and so important she didn’t care.
Eventually the podium announced they were ready for boarding, and invited anybody that needed a little extra help to board at this time. Upon seeing the door open to the gangway, Cell Phone Lady (CPL) immediately sprung to her feet with cell phone tucked between shoulder and ear “tell them I need to meet with everybody as soon as possible” and lunged for the door, passing a gentleman on crutches. Only at the door did the attendant try to inform CPL that it was not her turn. Somewhat startled, without eye contact and without missing a sentence “I need to see those charts as soon as you can send them” she turned on her heel and stepped a few feet away. Finally the extra help and armed forces people boarded and it was the time for first class passengers. No break in talk “Why NOT!” and charged down the gangway leading the first class passengers.. Oh God, I thought, please, please, please! But of course when I reached seat 4F (window) guess who was in the aisle? CPL!! It took a couple of “excuse me, EXCUSE ME!”attempts to get her to come to the realization that another human existed beside her, and she vacantly rose to let me in, with no eye contact. Yak, yak, yak.
The boarding process continued as did her stream of do this, do that’s, but after a bit she said “well, that’s all I got for now” and hung up. Thank goodness. But no, that meant it was time to catch up on email! Scroll, click, thumbs flash, scroll, click more dexterity. Finally the door closed and the announcement that “all electronic devices must be turned off at this time” was totally ignored as she was again making a call. I know the first cabin gets cut a little slack, but it took personal urging from the attendants to make her cease. Finally the phone was extinguished and stowed in the Gucci purse. It’s about a three hour flight from LAX to DFW and not once did she look in my direction (which, at this point was a relief).
Lunch came and went (it was quite good, again more to come) with her vacantly turning pages of some romance novel that I am not sure she absorbed. Finally we were on approach to DFW, and I am not making this up, the INSTANT you heard the squeal of rubber meeting asphalt, she dove like Dana Vollmer entering the pool for a gold medal for her Gucci, grasped the phone, kept her head below seat level and started dialing. By the time we pulled off the active runway she was already in full conversation although in hushed tones. I expected something like "Is Mother out of Intensive Care?" But no, it was only “hi, I just thought I would check in…”. And at one point (again not making it up) was “it was so hot yesterday I was soaking wet all day!”. Crucial information to be sure. She was standing up prior to the seat belt sign, mining her luggage from above, and shot out the door, phone blended to ear. Eventually I saw her salmon colored sweater heading for the tram (Damn DFW airport) and she boarded the same train as I did although in a different car. My last (thank God) view of her was as I was walking away from the train, she was sitting in the car ahead of mine, texting feverishly and had to stick an arm in the door to get off.
I am only a poor engineer, but I think there is something very wrong here….
Which then got me to thinking, maybe it’s ME! Am I so out of step that I am the one that is out of touch with reality? For instance when sitting in the Admiral’s club there are any number of folk, from elder travelers to very busy thirty somethings, to college kids. At one point I was sitting quietly actually reading a real book with real pages, and five youngish people (NOT DFD, at all) came in and sat in the same section. No sooner had butts hit the seats when out came the devices. All FIVE of them sat absorbed in their own world. Although they were almost touching, they might as well have been hundreds of miles apart. Do we no longer have fun by enjoying our company and talking to each other? Another couple came in, him in a “US Open”T-shirt (at an age that would not support that mode of dress) and she in those dark denim, stud spangled jeans with a fancy blouse and one of those floppy hat (sleazy chic). Plop. Yank. Text, text, text. At one point without raising her head, she said “Brittney posted on her Bill Board!” “is that facebook?”, a look of disgust was dispatched in his direction.
I know that I am somewhat at fault here, but I do look you in the eye and talk to you. I’d love to find out about you. With words.
God love you important CPL, may your battery go dead.
Well time to go get DFD for our dinner commemorating our 49thwedding anniversary. Where does that time go? We are returning to Café Des Artistes in Leonardtown and not only does it recognize our 49 years of marriage, it also marks the anniversary of the experience that resulted in the campaign to