"Not now, I'm on the phone"

Is it just me, or is anyone else terribly annoyed with cell phones? Actually not the phones, but the use of them. Everywhere, people are talking or texting to someone. On the treadmills at the gym, the grocery store, in restaurants, and while driving (even though it's against the law).

Why not enjoy that workout time as your own? Or decide for yourself if you should buy brown or white rice? What freaks me out is knowing all these phones have cameras, especially when I'm changing clothes at the gym. You never know. What happened to the joy of solitude? Or being available to say hello to someone you meet in person, without a phone call in progress? People talking on phones don't say hi or make eye contact in person.

The phones themselves are pretty awesome. They do just about everything, including ghost hunting. It's just that it concerns me when people seem to be afraid to listen to the thoughts in their own head.

I like music and conversation; but I also enjoy quiet. When I drive, I listen for engine or tire sounds (first sign of trouble usually) or sirens, or cars honking or people cursing from their windows. When walking, I prefer to hear if a person or animal is walking up behind me. I'm not paranoid... just being aware of surroundings.

But back to cell phones. I have one, which I mostly use for emergency.

The other day my shopping cart was run into by another cart. The woman was on her phone and said "I can't talk while I'm 'driving' this thing" into her phone... yet didn't even look at me, much less say anything.

But the following experience just blew me away (and inspired me to write this):

It was Halloween, and I was handing out candy to the little monsters, movie stars and fairies. They would walk up to the porch and shout "trick or treat" and almost all of them said "thank you" when I gave them a handful of sweets. But there was one girl who walked up to the porch and held out her bag, while continuing to blab on her cell phone. Oh come on.. Get off the danged phone or don't come begging for candy. She never said "trick or treat" or "thank you". Just held open the bag without even making eye contact with me. Must have been a terribly important call... the red shoes or the black ones.. oh my God isn't that new boy at school cute... I got my nails done at Fifi's... blah.

Will kids visiting Santa this year ignore him while texting "I'm @ Santa" to a friend?

When people are talking or texting with someone else, or listening to earphones, it says to me, "I'm not really present so leave me alone."

Bye, got 2 go. C U L8R PPL U R Gr8 -----Sent from my iPhone-----

©2011, Mary Lou St. Lucas

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Mary Lou St. Lucas is a former stay-at-home mom who has participated in custody and divorce-related support groups. She often speaks out through impassioned letters to local newspapers regarding issues affecting quality of life for children and families. She has experienced divorce, including the heartbreaking decision to give up daily contact with her two sons for what she believed was their best interest at that time, as well as the societal stigma attached to being a non-custodial mother. She emphasizes the importance of kids having BOTH parents in their lives on a regular basis, even if the parents cannot or will not be married anymore. She hopes other parents will see that there may be alternatives to the standard custody arrangements, depending on the individual situation. She writes from her perspective of today instead of revisiting and dwelling on the painful emotions of her past. She strives to live a full life in spite of a recent diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and believes a sense of humor is mandatory. mlstuff.blogspot.com/2007/08/male-bashing-t-shirts.html or E-Mail.

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