Ever notice how themes sometimes appear in one's life? I think of my life as having something of a John Williams score, where recogizable themes will slip in and out of the music. (Anybody catch that during the scene with the big snake in Harry Potter 3, the "snake pit" theme from Indiana Jones slipped into the music? Or am I just an orchestral score nerd?) Anyway, a recent frequent theme has been mindfulness. There was a sermon at church on the subject, and several minor issues have resulted recently from my addiction to my cell phone.
Inattention has been something of a life theme. I didn’t think I got enough attention as a child, though probably every kid feels that way. I've had romances with inattentive people, but to me it has always been funny. My big reaction to one theologically-inclined lover was to write:
A book lover Suzyn once knew
Would procrastinate ere he would screw
"Lust after," said she,
"Pagels, not me,
And the Messiah will come before you."
Pithy verse did little to dispel the problem, but I don't think an argument would have either. I've always thought in lovers and friends that occasional inattention was sort of the cost of hanging out with the dreamy, in their heads sort of people I tend to associate with.
But I have a close friend to whom my own inattention is a big deal, so it's something I've vowed to work on. The situation came to a head this afternoon with a cell phone conversation (had while I was driving, of course) where she announced that my checking my blackberry during meals with her was very rude and I had hurt her feelings last time I'd done it.
To me, a person who checks their phone while waiting for the waiter is not a big deal, but even my snarky self doesn't like to hurt people's feelings, so I vowed to do better.
I arrived at my destination, a restaurant where I was meeting the Chalicerelative and her best friend for dinner, and rang off with my friend, slipping the phone into its case on my clutch purse and vowing not to remove it for the duration of the meal. I came in and sat down and put the bag on the table. The Chalicerelative was away from the table and after her greeting, the first thing the Chalicerelative's friend said was
"Your phone is blinking a green light. Do you need to check it?"
"No," I said, "It just does that."
When the Chalicecrelative returned, we got into a conversation about, of course, the Presbyterian Church and a full five minutes went by before she said,
"Miss Sue," (No, you cannot call me that. Only the Chalicerelative can.) "Your phone is blinking."
Sigh. "It's fine," I said. "It blinks all the time." And we had a good laugh over how her firend had pointed out the same thing.
This is getting predictable, I know.
Naturally, mid-rainbow trout, my phone starts to buzz.
"Do you need to get that?" the friend asks.
"Nah,'" I said, enjoying the moment, fully experiencing my trout.
"Miss Sue, your grandmother is sick. And your father had another fall yesterday. You really should answer your phone when it rings!"
"Guys, that buzz just means I got a text message. It's cool,"
And we went back to dinner.
Can't win for losing in this world.