Date Night: #slice2012

Last night, my sweet husband Jason arranged for his parents to watch Bryson so we could go out for a little while. The plan was dinner and a play (Gamut Theatre’s production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead), but when we realized how tired both of us were, we opted for a grown-up dinner at a Mexican restaurant near my in-law’s.
We chatted about the usual subjects: our son, work, what we did the evening before, plans, what to order…
While we were there, we couldn’t help but overhear conversation from one table about driving to Kentucky to rescue a dog that was soon to be put to sleep and the giggles from the table behind me about something I couldn’t hear. I commented on the couple at the one table – each of them eating and reading with no conversation at all.
“You would have loved the family we saw when we went out to eat last night then,” he said. “All four of them had their phones out. No talking at all for the entire meal.”
I thought back to us pulling out our phones at the beginning of our dinner date and wondered if we were like that. Or seemed like it.
“You always have your phone out. You’d probably go through withdrawal without it.”
I tucked my phone back into my purse, feeling guilty. But not that bad. I mean this was coming from the guy who doesn’t believe the weather he sees with his own eyes unless his phone can confirm it.
But I remember back to getting my first cell phone in college. He was going to Penn State and I was in Lancaster attending Franklin and Marshall. The long distance bills were killing us and I had long drives back and forth on the weekends to go see him. The phone was part cost-savings and part security – but always a connection to him.
Sure, I communicate with many others with my phone these days, but if you check to see who is at the top if every list, it’s Jason. The lunch time phone calls, the text messages to cheer me up or let me know something important.
I’m sure he’d call me a suck up and bottomless pit of self-justification, but it’s true.
I did put the phone away for the rest of the date. After all, I didn’t need it to talk to him when he was only across the table. :)


8 thoughts on “Date Night: #slice2012

  1. What you wrote is interesting. I know we’ve taught about kids and phones before.

    Just this evening my hub told me he’s noticed an interesting phenomena. He’s noticed a lot less of his patients and their families talking when he enters a room. Often everyone’s on their cell phones or on video games. Interesting how technology is changing even waiting time.

    • I’m guilty of playing with my phone when waiting alone, but I’m also likely to be caught reading a book. It serves as a distraction & it looks like multitasking.
      I think the norms are changing – and not necessarily for the better.

  2. Husband and I both like to play on our iPods while watching tv or waiting for something, but they go away during dinner time and when we have kids that will be the norm for them as well… I’ve observed the same thing that you did in restaurants and it’s so sad!

  3. I wonder when I teach with iPods in my classroom if I am perpetuating this problem. Kids are so used to having the world in their hand. My husband and I are newly empty nesters, and it took awhile to realize we were on our phones as much as we were. Now when I come home, other than picking up for our two kids if they call, they remain in their chargers.

  4. The Cellphone does have a good and kind side that is often obscured by familiarity and overuse. It must have been a profound act of will for you and Jason to put them away!

  5. My husband and I are firm phone users. We actually communicate a lot that way! People find it funny, because we’ll post to FB and comment on one another’s posts – even when we are together. It was really entertaining while at Disney last year. We also read articles – and then share them – while sitting on the couch together. And yes, at restaurants. We laugh (we’ve been together for SOOOO long!) that it gives us something more to talk about besides just the kids.

  6. Interesting – I was getting an oil change on Saturday and noticed out of the 20 people in the waiting room 15 were on their phones, 4 were watching the basketball game, and 1 (me) was reading a book. We do try to limit technology at the table. Easy at home, harder when we’re out.

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