Studly and I had the rare pleasure of feasting on delicious Thai food at one of our favourite little boites in town. To be candid, it is more of a hole-in-the-wall than a boite, but the food really is terrific. The dining area is clean and whoever the server of the night is does a good job keeping up with the clientele. There is no loud and raucous music assaulting the ears and sending the nerves into next week, and there are no perky and intrusive inquiries vis a vis 'how is everything going here?” Have you ever noticed that they always ask you this just after you have shovelled a giant forkful of food into your face? It is a wonder more perky servers don't get food spit out at them when the patron tries to answer.
However, I'm not here to rant about annoying habits of servers. As I said, the servers at this place are lovely. They take your order, bring your food, keep your water glass filled and they stay out of your way. No, I am here to complain about cell phones and loud voices. A gentleman (sic) answered his horrid buzzing ringtone and then entertained us for the better part of ten minutes with a soliloquy on his brilliant handling of the Fleming account. I blushed for his lack of humility.
For some odd reason, people who cannot possibly go through a meal without leaving their phone 'on' (after all, the world may come to a screeching halt and ONLY THEY will be able to proffer advice and guidance) also find it necessary to conduct inane, pointless, and personal conversations in a tone of voice that would seem intrusive to a megaphone!
Why I ask you, why? I have been to lunch or dinner with such people and when they answer their phone and chat I always want to apologize for being so incredibly dull and unimportant that they must keep their phones on while they are with me. I feel the same way about being put on hold by somebody who has called me to chat, when another call comes over their line. Either way it is the 'Oh , just a sec, I have to take this' statement that makes every last hair on my neck rise up in protest. Why? Why do you HAVE to take it? Will civilization as we know it cease if you don't? Won't the person calling leave you a voice message or even better, call you again? Will their lives go into terminal freefall if you do not answer?
Sorry folks – you flatly aren't all that. If you want to talk to, lunch with, visit, or otherwise spend time with somebody, please have the courtesy to give them your undivided attention. It is rude and uncouth to chat, text, play Tetras, or otherwise give your companion the “Who gives a crap about you?” message.
If you really don't like your companion that much, don't call them or go out with them in the first place.