When I’m sitting in a public place like a restaurant or a library I’m not there to socialize but to mind my own business and get some work done. You might ask why I just don’t stay at “home” and work, but the fact is that I find myself getting very little work done, because there is television, and a couple of stations still cater to older folks who think TV shows and movies used to be whole lot better in the personality department. Unfortunately, very often I encounter “characters” in the outside world who refuse to remain inside their own ecosphere.
Whenever possible I seek out some corner where there is an electrical outlet to plug-in my laptop, and have to hope that someone didn’t get there before I did. Usually, if someone with the same idea in mind comes in and see the spot occupied, they might huff and puff, but they aren’t looking for a confrontation or fisticuffs. However, some people do—especially those “innocent children” who seem to spend all day scanning and sending text messages on their “smart” phones, and suddenly find that they need to “plug in.”
These “children” can be especially irritating for an older person. Back in the Jurassic Age when there were no cell phones or even computers, “children” watched television, read books, played sports, hiked in the woods, went on bike trips. I did things—or was told to—like picking weeds in the garden, cleaning up after my sister’s horse, or taking advantage of opportunities to get as far away from the house as possible so I wouldn’t have to do those things. I didn’t have those electronic gadgets to occupy my time, but I did an awful lot of daydreaming and pondering the wonders of the natural environment.
“Children” were expected to respect their elders and the rules of civilized society; after all, life wasn’t all fun and games (for me it hardly ever was). The only people who didn’t were those who respected nothing and were “rebels” against society for no particular reason. Today, it seems that a lot more “children” are this way than I remembered.
So I’m sitting in a comestible establishment typing away when these four females of who couldn’t have been older than 12 or 13 came in and gather around the table I’m sitting at as if I’m supposed to understand what their point is. They were all sweeping their phones with their fingers; since I didn’t seem to be “getting” their “point,” eventually one of them approached me and made the assertion that she needed to commandeer (my word) the electrical outlet so she could call her mother. I didn’t believe her; I know she had plenty of time to do that in between engaging in “social media” with her friends, and now she’s in “trouble” because she won’t be able to respond to another inane text with her own inane commentary because her phone’s battery was kaput.
I had no intention of budging, and tried to ignore them. This wasn’t easy because they were making demeaning comments and threats in an effort to “persuade” me to vacate the spot. I finally responded by noting how difficult it was for someone my age to communicate with “children” these days. Of course, they became very offended and antagonistic when I suggested that they mere “children.” These “children” think they are “smarter” than you are, and have the rudeness to prove it. You have to make way for them, because if you don’t, you are just asking for a lot of illogical, sarcastic nonsense that is endlessly impossible to deal with.
However, these “children” underestimated my capacity for sustaining abuse; after a few minutes of this venture into the generation gap Twilight Zone, I just shut up and focused on my original occupation, ignoring their increasingly malicious commentary and asides. I noted, of course, they had not made any purchases the whole time they were in there, thus having no business in there at all; they only thing that needed “feeding” were their phones, and without them functioning they apparently couldn’t “function” themselves.
Two of these “children” then pulled a couple of loose chairs near my table. I continued to ignore them, but I did observe that two men sitting in a table forward of my location were silently laughing at something they were doing. I turned my head a little and observed that they were doing what appeared to be “French kissing,” or at least a fairly convincing imitation of it. I have my opinions on certain subjects, but I don’t care about what people do unless it interferes with what I am doing. If their intention was to make me find this display so revolting to my old fogy sensibilities that it would persuade me to leave, they were mistaken (I also thought their display was “amusing”—and not in a positive way).
After an excessively lengthy display of inter-gender “affection,” they apparently became exhausted with it to no purpose. I just typed away until I was finished, and thanked them for giving me something to write about.