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I must be really boring!
The Spectator
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by Ron Cruger
rcruger@san.rr.com
        It was designed to be a pleasant dinner among friends. Nothing fancy. Mrs. C and I plus another couple and their fifteen year old daughter. The couple and their daughter live a few doors down from us and during the course of our mutual ten- year residency we had become friends.
        We had agreed to meet at a local restaurant, a popular place specializing in Italian dishes.
        We were seated, Mrs. C and I across from Janet, Craig and their daughter Renee.
        Each of us took the napkin out of the plastic ring and covered our laps with the dark green cloths.
        Then Craig reached into his pants pocket, pulling out his iPhone, placing it next to the fork bordering his dinner plate. Next Janet reached in her purse and brought out her iPhone and placed it next to her plate. Daughter Renee had already begun operating her iPhone. She was thumbing her way through a myriad of options, stopping at her e-mail and texting site. Her eyes widened as she noted three new, unread text messages. After reading and responding to the text messages she placed her iPhone next to her dinner plate.
        Mrs. C and I gave each other a glance as if to say, “What’s with the cell phones?”
        As we all turned to our leather covered menus we noticed that each of our companion’s eyes kept returning to the bright face of their iPhones as if they were eagerly anticipating an important message.
        Noticing their anxiety I asked, “Are you waiting for an important call or something?” The three of them shook their heads and Janet said, “No, not really.”
        We ordered our meals and continued to observe the three sets of eyes continually glancing at their iPhones.
        Mrs. C, wanting to start a conversation, asked Janet, “So, have you been to the new clothing store in the mall?” Janet, looked up from her iPhone and replied, “Huh, pardon me, I didn’t hear your question.” Mrs. C repeated her query. Janet’s eyes and attention were on the face of her iPhone. “Oh, I’m sorry. What?”
        Our waitress came to the table and asked, “Have we decided yet?”
        Janet and Craig were checking their iPhones. They answered with a, “Huh. Oh, we’re sorry, what was that?” Renee was holding her iPhone and thumbing it with a reply to a text message she just received.” The waitress retired to another station.
       Wanting to inject some sort of a conversation I said, “How about this weather, huh?”
No response. Janet, Craig and Renee were each looking down at their iPhone. I tried again, “It’s been really hot lately, hasn’t it?”
       The three in front of me were each thumbing their phone. I looked at Mrs. C and we exchanged glances that said, “I don’t think we’re here to them.”
       The waitress quietly came to our table again. “Well folks, any questions or would you like to order?”
       Craig said, “Huh, oh, yes, give us another minute or two, would you.”
       The waitress looked at Mrs. C and me. “Have you two decided?”
       We ordered as the three across from us quickly reviewed their menus. Finally, Janet said, “Is the lasagna good?”
       “Yes, it’s fresh and very tasty.”
       “Good, the three of us will have the lasagna.”
       As soon as Janet ordered she returned to her fascination with her iPhone.
By then Renee was seriously focused on texting. Her thumbs were flying.
       Craig smiled at me and said, “So, how are you guys doing?”
       I replied, “Well, things are going really well and…..”
       Just then Craig’s attention was captured by something on his iPhone. Without looking up he said, “Oh, excuse me, the latest weather forecast is coming up. I just have to check it.”
       Janet glanced at Mrs. C and reported, “My God, Lindsey Lohan just got arrested again.” She held up her iPhone, showing us the latest photo of Lohan being hauled away by the police from her latest club escapade.
       Our dinners arrived. Our three guests picked at their lasagna as they kept their eyes their iPhones. Renee twice showed her mother something of interest on her smart phone. Craig placed his fork down and reach across the table to show me the latest baseball scores. “Damn Yankees won again. Look at this photo of Jeter sliding into second.”
       I tried once again. “The election looks like it’s going to be close, doesn’t it?”
       Only Renee looked up from her device. She offered, “Can you pass the breadsticks please.”
       Once more, “How about that election, huh?”
       Craig said, “Huh, oh, yeah, close.”
       Dinner wore on with only the most necessary of conversation. Pass the breadsticks, can we have more water, good dinner, nice place.
       Dinner done. Dessert finished. The check came.
       I suggested, “Why don’t we just split it.”
       Craig looked at his iPhone and said, “Sure, here give me the check, I’ll use the iPhone to figure out the tip.” His thumbs worked swiftly.
We all walked out of the restaurant together. Shaking hands, hugging. Offering goodbyes. Janet turned towards us and said, “Nice evening, good seeing you guys.”
As Craig, Janet and Renee walked to their car Mrs. C and I noticed that each was walking head down, concentrating on the screens of their iPhones.
As we walked to our car Mrs. C turned to me and said, “Quite an evening, wasn’t it?”
I said, “Honey, I didn’t realize how boring I must be until tonight. Now I know it for sure.”