WARNING: RANT AHEAD.
FYI it won't be an original rant. You'll possibly roll your eyes and go really? Like, we haven't heard THIS before.
But still. Sometimes you feel like a thing must be said. More than once, even. Which is why my mother and I are having this conversation in the San Francisco airport. We've been here for the past few days, celebrating her anniversary and eating like a pair of bosses.
I'll say this for my willowy mother. That girl can pound down a meal like a trucker. Anyway. Back to the rant.
ME: Did you notice the women sitting at the table next to us this morning? It was a bridal party. Do you know how I could tell? Because the woman sitting at the end of the table wore a tiara and a sash that said "Bride-to-be." It was like that movie "Bridesmaids." Which I realize you probably didn't see. But whatever.
STILL ME: Anyway. Did you see how all the women handed the server their iPhones to take pictures? They huddled together over the table, smiling for the camera(s). After he took pictures, the server handed back the phones, and guess what happened next?
MORE ME: OK, Mom. Choose the correct response.
A. Everyone toasted the "Bride-to-be."
B. They told stories about that time she locked herself out of their dorm room wearing nothing but her underwear and a smile.
C. They gave her advice.
D. They made plans to get mani-pedis together after breakfast.
E. They asked about her upcoming honeymoon to some exotic location unlike the places my peers and I went, which was mostly "St. George."
F. They squealed a little.
G. They cried a little.
H. They laughed a lot.
I. They all took their phones back from the server and spent the rest of the time … breakfast texting.
ME AGAIN: If you answered "I" you would be correct. Why couldn't those women just be in the moment? I ask you! After all, how many times are they going to gather together in San Francisco to celebrate their friend's wedding? At least THIS wedding? Why do they gotta be on their phones all the time? Why does everybody gotta be on their phones all the time?
MOM: (Looks up from her paperback, a mystery by Donna Leon.) Oh, you know. People are just so busy these days. Like you. You've pulled out your phone a lot since we've been here. (Goes back to reading her paperback, a mystery by Donna Leon.)
I can tell from her tone of voice that she isn't judging me. At all.
Still. Her comment brings me up short, because she's right. I have been checking my phone a lot the past few days. But why? Am I really as busy as she thinks I am? Or do I just like to distract myself, hoping for a text or an email that results in a little dopamine hit to the brain?
Here's the worst part. I haven't realized how often I've (apparently) been reaching into my back pocket to pull out my phone. Gah!
OK. There was a time when people (i.e. my kids) complained that they couldn't reach me because I never had my phone on me. But now? Not so much. In fact, it makes me nervous to be without my cellphone. In fact, I'll turn back to get it if I realize I've left the house without it.
How did this insidious thing happen?
Maybe it's time for me to go on a cellphone fast. You know. Turn it off the way I turned off cable news earlier this year. It's a thought. A good thought. And I'm going to do it.
As soon as I check for texts one last time. …