Monday, April 9, 2018



Put your phones DOWN.

Just oh. my. gosh.

I know it's been said before (a lot), but I figured that having reached nearly 50 years (which qualifies as "super old" to my 80s-teenager brain), I should add my voice, as part of that generation who has the distinction of being able to say we remember when people used to just have a phone at their house.  Tethered to the actual damn wall, by a cord...usually in the living room, where everyone in the house and possibly the neighborhood (if you had a party line, like us bumpkins), could hear every word you said.

We also remember, even further back in the mists of time, when -- if someone you loved was far away -- we'd get out a piece of paper, a pen, and an envelope and WRITE THEM A LETTER.  Then we had to swipe a stamp from mom's purse and walk it all the way out to the actual mailbox.  Clear Outside.  And then go inside and wait for like 2-4 weeks to get an answer, unless the person decided not to write back, or didn't have time, or forgot about you (kind of like texting nonresponders nowadays, only way more depressing and time-consuming).


What was my point?

Oh, right.  Cell phones.

So, having said all that, what the heck, you guys.  We need some guidelines about when is, and when is NOT, an okay time to have your cell phone in front of your face.  I'll go first, and we'll see how long the list gets.  I'm not promising you "Top Ten" or anything, I'm just gonna go, in order of how they come to me.  Ready?


1.  NO CELL PHONES ON DATES.  Ever.  Not with boyfriends, husbands, acquaintances, friends, blind dates, lunch meetings, happy hour, or any other time where you are sitting with actual humans who drove in a car to a place to meet you, in person.  Phones need to stay, turned OFF and out of sight, for the whole time.  Not on the table.  Not in your lap.  Not in your hand.  Unless you have an elderly or young person who may or may not be bleeding out their eyes from a kitchen-related incident caused by your absence, you do NOT need to hear from anyone for that hour.  I mean it.  There is not one single damn thing that can't wait another half hour until you get back in your car to check your messages, texts, emails, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.  And if you check those things while I happen to be sitting across from you, I reserve the right to throw a drink in your face.  And you're buying.  That should be the new rule.  Check your phone = picking up the tab for the whole table.  Or maybe that's been done already.  I have no idea- I gave up on Internet news and Facebook like 3 years ago.

2.  NO CELL PHONES WHEN VISITING SOMEONE'S HOUSE.  Not for a party, not for a hangout, not for the Superbowl, and certainly not for a meal.  No phones.  Leave them in your car, and go outside to check them if you're that interested in what everyone who isn't at this place is doing right exactly now.

3.  NO CELL PHONES WHILE CONVERSING WITH A PERSON IN PERSON.  Oh, no, you did not just actually glance at your phone while I was talking, did you?  DID YOU??  *smack*  No.  Do not do that.  I promise you that stupid Vine video will still be there in ten minutes when we're done interacting in person.  You look at that screen one more time while I'm talking and I will pull a hammer out of my purse and give it a good bash.  See if Instagram can filter that mess.

4.  NO CELL PHONES IN AIRPORT WAITING AREAS OR SHOPPING LINES (or any other place people congregate to wait).  So much no right here.  No one wants to sit across from you while you yack loudly on your phone about your date last night, your current Facebook fight with some troll, your new Samsung product, your business meeting this morning, that one party ( 'member that one time...?), or how you spent the morning cleaning cat puke off the kitchen floor.  Stand up and go somewhere else, for the love.  How in the world have we become a society who thinks it's OK to force everyone around you to listen to your convo at top volume.  I can't tell you how many times I have had to get up and walk to another place to sit, because some dumbass won't stop shouting into his phone, sitting right against me in an airport waiting area.  Good Lord.  Do you actually not notice the other humans around you right now? Go away.

5.  NO CELL PHONES ON SPEAKERPHONE UNLESS YOU ARE DISABLED AND HAVE LOST THE USE OF YOUR ELBOWS IN A FREAK HAY BALING ACCIDENT.   This is for all you super-cool hotties out there who walk around holding your phone in front of your mouth like it's a piece of pizza you're about to bite into...speaking into it from a distance and forcing everyone else within a grocery-store-sized radius to listen in to every word of your oh-so-important chat about that girl last night with those pants, what was she thinking, omg girl, IKR, WTH.  I'd love to accidentally ram these people from behind with a shopping cart and knock their iphone 17.5 into the frozen foods exhaust fan.  Why in the heck must we listen to that?

I seriously remember when we used to leave the house, drive to town, go to school, the post office (yes), the grocery store, or go out for the whole night,  and our only phone was still back at the house, tethered to the wall.  And we were FINE.  We learned how to navigate with maps.  We learned to be responsible and tell someone "I'll meet you in the parking lot, by the big tree, at 4 p.m.", and we'd actually just be there.  No one got lost.  No one got left (well, sometimes we did, but that was only that one time when Mom was just done with our BS).  We could go to the fair with a big group and split up, and no one got lost, or trampled by a rampaging alpaca, or starved to death wandering hopelessly with no idea what to eat for lunch.  We didn't take 45 selfies for posterity, in our fake cowgirl outfits. We'd separate and make a plan (you remember those?), and we'd all meet back up, in the parking lot, by the big tree, at 4 p.m.

Image result for cell phone meme
Where's Waldo...80's Edition.
And when we got home, if we were richie-rich enough to afford one of those cool new answering machines, we could check our messages by pressing a button, and see who, if anyone, had tried to reach us while we were not at home.  And if there was an emergency, well, yeah, they happened.  But the world didn't stop turning because we missed the call.

I remember taking whole entire road trips, across a whole entire state, with nothing but a suitcase and the car keys.  We thought it was a stretch to have to tell someone "Hey, we're driving to Seattle tonight, should be home Sunday."  It was enough.  Conversely, if we didn't make it home, from wherever, the people who loved us knew when that time-frame had elapsed where it was time to jump in the car and go looking around for us, or start calling our friends or their parents or our work, to see who'd seen us last, and where.  And that was enough, too.  We all survived.

We also did NOT need to see what everyone in our entire high school was doing, in real-time, every minute of the weekend.  Oh my gosh, that would have ruined life.  If you liked a boy, and you didn't see him at the local hangout on Saturday didn't have the option to stalk him and several girls you hate on Facebook, only to find out (wailing) ...that they're all together right now omgwhyyyyy.  You'd have to fret and wonder all weekend, and then at school on Monday, you'd hear from a girl who heard from her sister, who heard from her boyfriend, who was friends with that guy you like, that he was at so-and-so's house this weekend and it looked like he was talking to whatshername and they may have left together and now your high school life is overrrrrrrr.

(Also, we didn't commit crimes over these facts, but that's another topic...)

Ok, that's my basic list of, ummm, five cell phone etiquette rules.  Feel free to add on from there...

I'm crazy about the lady in front.  Just...taking it in.  Love it.  

Images courtesy of and google images.