Monday, August 28, 2006

Lesson at the Drive Thru

I made an observation today while sitting in the drive thru of my most obsessive bad habit. It was that 'transit hour' on Sunday morning when most churches have released their congregations. Ahead of me was a Station Wagon full of well dressed family members. The vehicle caught my attention, as it was not an SUV, or some other popular mini van and that particular wood paneled car is rare these days, so the people inside were subjected to my scrutiny. I expected to see Ma & Pa, baseball caps and pig tails, but what I did see was the entire family, each with their own cel phone, each having their own conversations.
What's wrong with this picture?
Was I wrong to assume they had maybe just left from church? Were they possibly on their way to a feast shared at another family members home? Was sitting in a car with each other, for any length of time, more than any of them could bare? What has happenend to the sacred family time spent together on Sunday's? I was perplexed and reached into my purse to call my husband to tell him of the tragedy that I was looking at.......gotcha!
My hand froze on the cold metal of my cel and my eyes cast down onto the lap of my judgment. I smiled to myself thinking that this would make good fodder for a post...and don't we all go about our days sifting through our mundane rituals, seeking out prophetic tidbits, to enlighten the bloggie realm with?Call me crazy, but I know that only you, who are reading this, can appreciate that thought.
When I was young, car travel, was family conversation time, as well as the dinner table and commercials breaks during TV shows. Talking to ones friends was limited to a phone that was permanently attached to the wall in our kitchen, or during play hours and school times. Cel phones give us 'instant' gratification to pass on what we think is important information. Now, we can all talk to our peers at the same time and on the same dime, so to speak. There need never be another awkward moment of silence that forces people, even families, to find the right subject matter. This saddens me and I hope it is not true of the average family dynamic.
We have 'No Phone' rules while driving with others in our cars. We gab relentlessly at the dinner table and mute commercial times to discuss various topics of interest. I don't have a perfect family, but finding time to converse, is never a problem and we usually feel there is just not enough time.
*Sigh* my day usually ends with me still talking, well after the lights have been turned off, and we have retreated to our prospective sides of the bed and the covers have been properly arranged under our chins. But, as much as I may dominate the conversation, my husband usually has the last word. "Good NIGHT honey!" *another sigh* "goodnight."


Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

remember our avocado green wood panelled station wagon?

*bow, chika chika, bow* (inside joke people)

i have my cell phone on vibrate so that i don't annoy the public with an obnoxious ring while out and about. one of my pet peeves is someone talking out loud on the phone in public. not sure why but it bugs. especially those tiny little ones that stick in ones ear.

the other night, Carsten and I were out to dinner and there was a family of four sitting at a table near us. the dad had one of those ear cell phones and it was flashing blue alerting him to a message. i kept starring at that blue flash on his ear. it was so distracting! then it would buzz and he would talk to his business partner's while eating dinner with the family.

i had the same reaction as you did with the station wagon in front of you at Starbucks.

when we have children...we have already talked about not being a "video game" and "cell phone" family.

do we need to move to the woods? ;)

love you and miss you.
your lil sis

9:47 AM  
Blogger a m y said...

Another thing that makes me sad is when I see kids in the car with their parents and their music turned up loud. Some of my best conversations with my parents came in the car on the way to school, symphony rehersal or the like. We've become so disconnected.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Bek said...

Dar.. Yes, Yes, YES.
I am not a fan of the mobile interupting time with our families.

It happens occassionally with Nath... but BOY DID HE COP it when it interupted my birthday lunch! Nath just kept chatting away with a client (oblivious to my increasing anger)... as he drove me back to work. I got out and slammed the door! I told him to NEVER EVER disrespect me like that again. He hasnt.

I guess it is an easy trap to fall into... but what used to happen? We knew when to call people.. and we called them then.
Not at all hours... lunch, dinner, weekends.
And why cant people just say "can I call you back"? Right now I have something else going on {just a little more important}.
Humpf... egos.

I particularly like your last paragraph... you could be a fly on the wall at mia casa...I also talk SO MUCH... and Nath is always the one to get the last word in.. "I love you too hon"

Oh.. and I do have loud music in the car... but only if Kaela is singing along with me.


4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is so me, the talking in bed thing (much to my husbands dismay!)...what is it about laying in bed and getting ready to sleep that is so inviting to conversation...well in my case a long monologue of consciousness usually interrupted by "hon, i'm trying to sleep..." not enough time to squeeze it all in for sure! but too many cell phones for sure...i hate when i am at work and people who are supposed to be, uh, working are chatting away or texting on thier cell.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Teresa said...

You know what made me laugh about this post more than anything? The phone attached the wall!!! Oh my gosh, I hadn't thought about that in years, ours was olive green and then we got a "new" phone that was a gold princess phone, but still on the wall, with a really long chord so you could kinda hide in the other room while having that 12 year old boyfriend crush phone call.

Will my kids have a memory of like --remember that funny looking camera flip phone we had? Too funny to think about.

One thing I hope I did raising them in the midst of all this chaos in the world was teaching them good family time. We still live in a pretty primitive place, but there still is no escaping the luxuries of the world. Crap, we don't even have a Starbucks in our town.

Oh Darlene, your posts always make me think---I love it!!

Love ya!!

5:38 PM  
Blogger bb said...

and sometimes face to face silence is best of all :-)
x x x x x

9:53 AM  
Anonymous lunarmusings said...

Those last couple of sentences made me smile. How often do Jon and I have the same exchange!? Its true, there is something about the end of a day that seems to occur much faster then I am ready, and my mind gets to ease into bed with me, and my mouth can't help but share and share and share! Its a sweet punctuation to get that GoodNIGHT Love... goodnight...

8:17 AM  

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