Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Are You Talkin' to Me?

Day 3, baby!! And it's gonna be a lean one. I've had a day from H-E-double hockey sticks (I'm thinking I need to keep it relatively clean after yesterday), have a raging headache (this is actually news since this may be my 7th headache in 40 years), and despite the length of this sentence, am not in a writerly way this evening....

Has anyone else noticed that children today are at a decided disadvantage when trying to evaluate the sanity of someone in public? Back when I was a kid -- when a phone was a telephone and maize yellow and hefty and mounted to the wall and the receiver could be used as a weapon -- anyone seen babbling out loud in public was clearly mad. That was a no-brainer. You didn't have to evaluate their clothing, their hygiene, the volume or content of the discussion... You knew if you saw someone talking to himself or herself and coming your way on the sidewalk to CROSS THE STREET.

The advent of cell phones and connected ear buds required a split second check for a wire hanging from an ear. I wasn't crazy about the loss of flight time, but I evolved and began a two-step process: hear the person, check for the wire. OK, not that big of a deal.

But then along came Bluetooth. Now when someone's carrying on a conversation with their imaginary friend -- and if they have a decent head of hair -- it can take MINUTES to evaluate whether the speaker is on the phone or stark raving mad. Some poor kid is going to get knifed by a wackadoodle stranger because they will have NO IDEA that it's not normal for people to talk to themselves loudly!

I was at Costco today and some woman was yelling at the conveyor belt in front of her. My fight or flight response was immediately triggered -- because I grew up when I did -- but then I eased up ASSUMING that she was on the phone. But was she?? I don't really know.

Maybe there should be an "I'm not crazy, I'm talkin' on my Bluetooth" hat that people have to wear to assuage the fears of the rest of us...

Or at least mine. :)


lauren said...

My response is to start talking to them as if they have been talking to me. They usually stop their conversation right there. The unfortunate outcome is you become the "crazy one", but at least they stop talking.

AJ said...

Wait a minute......isn't that how we became friends??