Friday, December 28, 2007

The Cell Epidemic

What in the hell did people do before the cell phone epidemic? I mean how did our parents know where we were 99% of the time? How did we find a place without using our cell phones to ask for directions? What did we do if we were going to be late to a friend's party because of traffic or getting lucky? What did we do before the world of texting?

How the hell did we survive? We did just fine. But today if someone loses their cell phone their world damn near comes to an end.

I am not saying I am not affected by this epidemic. I am. I own a cell phone. I use it when I land into civilization and I make my 900 phone calls because I actually have service. I don't text because I don't have the service. I just chose not to have the service. I hang up usually when I walk into a store. I don't answer it during dinner and if I must, I step outside. Could I live without it? Yes.

And it is the texting that brought me to this blog. April 23, you know what happened on that day in history? A 13 year-old girl won $25,000. Not for shooting the most baskets during the national championship hoop shoot contest. They still have those too, but you don't win $25,000 when you win. Winners receive trophies and plaques. What in the hell is this world coming to. That girl said she sends 4,000 texts a month. A month. And um, we can't figure out why we are becoming obese?

Last night I went to Charlie Wilson's War. A true story. I was generous and moved my seat so a couple could sit next to each other in the packed theater. And once again that karma bit me in the ass. The movie hadn't started and the teenage couple sitting next to me were fiddling with their cell phones. I figured turning them off as the damn screen had just asked. Then the movie started. Within seconds the cell phone's lcd lit up and young girl picked it up and texted back. I looked over at the guy a few minutes later and he was texting as well. 10 minutes into the movie when it lit up for about the 20th time, I calmly leaned over and said in my most calm voice...


I made sure my hands were clasped to the armrests when she answered---probably. I said who in the hell can not wait 2 hours. She said my mom. Then he answered another text. I figure they were actually texting each other. It wasn't the click click click that was bothering me but the damn light from the phone.

I took a deep breath and let her go about lying to her mom about where she was. At one point she got up and left. I figured to use the bathroom. I almost reached over and grabbed the phone and threw it at the back of her head as she walked away and yelled DON'T FORGET TO TEXT WHILE IN THE RESTROOM. After returning, her mom must have decided enough texting because it slowed down.

When the movie ended, I wanted to lean over and quietly ask in my calm voice: I didn't really understand the movie, could you explain it to me? But I didn't want to embarrass her or of course to interrupt her texting.

So people put down the cell phone for a few minutes a day, enjoy the sunshine, the look in another's eyes, a movie, a baseball game, and everything in between. Life isn't always about being in touch and having the phone glued to ear or fingers.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A moment at Starbucks

I had a rough night last night. I have learned this year that it is ok to cry when things are troubling one. I have learned to shed the machoness some people say I portray. And so last night I thought of friends in low places and wish I could be there to hold them, to catch their tears, and to make sure they are taking care of themselves in addition to taking care of others. That crying carried over to this morning when I had to drive 30 minutes to Starbucks.

Now, please don't think I am addicted to Starbucks or coffee that I would drive 30 minutes for a cup of Joe. No, I went to town for something else, grocery shopping which I did and Starbucks happened to be there so I went inside and order a Grande Eggnog Latte. Well that is what I think I ordered. At least that is what I hope I ordered.

I was about third in line. Waiting near the stirring and sugar table were three ladies of three generations. Great grandma, grandma, and granddaughter. They were dressed up and I want to say almost to the point of the 1800s, but not quite. That is what went through my mind when I saw them. They were talking to a couple. The generation-ers came from money you could tell, but they were talking to common folk. This is just my opinion honestly, but to my observation that is what I came up with.

At the far cash register was a woman in a gray sweatshirt. She was definitely common folk. And in front of me was Danny. He ordered an apple cider something, but I only know this because they were out and said Danny we will give you a refund. It was busy as all get out and the line was starting out the door. I was in a world of my own, but taking in the world around me as well. I watched as Granddaughter came over to the counter to retrieve her pastry. I watched as she attempted to balance one cup on top of the other and reach for her pastry. I almost reached around Danny to grab the pastry because I could see that Granddaughter was going to drop the Raspberry drink. And sure enough she did. I don't think it got on Gray and Danny, but it was going all over the floor. Granddaughter was of course embarrassed at all get out and G-Grandma was asking to make another and she would pay for it.

Danny just stood there and order his not to be had apple cider thing. But Gray took action. She hollered for her dad to go to the bathroom and get papertowels. She said give me a towel and I will clean it up. She realized they were busy and didn't have time for a clean up especially in front of the counter. She kept assuring Granddaughter that things happen and it was no big deal. The employee mopped it up, but Gray still had her Dad go get the papertowels to wipe up the wetness. I had already ordered my Eggnog Latte after helping move something so the employee could mop. As her dad was wiping it up, another man in line said don't do that, they will take care of it. I thought he would probably be the one to complain that his drink was taking too damn long as well. I walked over to the stirring and sugar table to wait.

I was standing next to Gray's dad and she was standing at the pickup counter. Actually she was pretty excited about Granddaughter's drink because it did smell pretty damn good. I love that we pay 5 bucks for a milk mixed with raspberries and heated. Couldn't we do that with Nestle Quick? Anyway, she had a big order as she got out a carrier. I was listening to her and her dad talk. Then I heard Eggnog Latte. Well that is what I thought I heard. She picked it up and started to hand it to me, well honestly her father, but I grabbed it. I said sorry, did you order this as well. They said yes, but take it. I said no. They insisted because they had a few more drinks and they would just take mine. I said thank you and as I turned to leave she said have a great day. As I walked out, I thought did I order the same thing they did? But would it matter because I am pretty sure she would take whatever I ordered.

I was walking to my vehicle and checking for my keys. I couldn't find them, but as I looked towards my vehicle, they were hanging in the door lock. Holy hell, I live in California and I just left my keys out in the open for everyone to steal. Crazy.

But I can't get over Gray. Her attitude this morning gave me renewed hope for life. I shouldn't say life, but it gave me hope for something. I was saying if everyone was like her in the world, we wouldn't have all the violence we have going on and hatred. How hard is it to just give out random acts of kindness. I am not saying every day, but once in a while.

With Christmas around the corner, lets try it. When you see the guy standing on the corner with the sign saying something that might not be true, oh well throw him a buck today. Don't think go get a job. I know I am guilty of it too. While standing in line at Starbucks, reach in front of the person in line who just ordered and tell the cashier you will pay for their order. Take a bag of food and place it on a doorstep that you know could use it more than you. Reach out and touch someone like you would like if you were circling the drain. Just be kind!!!

Happy Holidays.