Before Cells, that is. (I realize that most of the world refers to cell phones as “mobiles”, but “B.M.” doesn’t sound right…)
I had a good (and substantially younger) friend recently ask me, in all seriousness, what people did before cell phones.
You know what we did, don’t you?
We suffered. In silence.
Ha ha. As we used to say: JK.
Remember that? When “out” was truly “out”?
Back when the primordial stew was just forming the hormonal gravy that was a really jumpin’ Saturday night, the place to be in my hometown was, unbelievably, the Dairy Queen parking lot. Now doesn’t that sound like something straight out of American Graffiti? Cruising Main Street, heads out the windows, honking our horns and doing heart-stopping U-turns in the middle of the street when a car-load of friends went by, we were positively rabid in our pursuit of others, of crowds, of being part of a good time…
People my son and his friends' age will never know the uncertainty -- or the exhilaration – of coming upon a large and impromptu gathering. They would no more think of leaving home without their phones than they would pass up the big glass beer-boot at the local beer hall. They are all connected, always: at work, while tucked in their own beds, while in the bathroom.
I kind of feel sorry for them.
I, on the other hand, regularly forget to plug mine in, to bring it with me, to turn the ringer on, to check my voice mail. (Text me all you like, but there’s something about voice mail… “Hi, Pearl? Yeah. This is Aloysius “Stinky” Ostenhoff. Call me back, okay?” Really, Stinky? ‘Cause I can see that you called – did you really think you needed to throw in another step there, requiring me to check my voice mail so that you could tell me that you called?)
Sometimes a little silence is a good thing.
Anyway, give me a call. If I don’t answer, please don’t leave a voice mail. I promise to call you back.
Winter mornings and pottery
9 hours ago