Monday, July 21, 2008

Next we'll go for the early bird special at the diner?

I don't see what the big deal is. Middle Son went to see the 10:50 showing of the new Batman movie Friday night; Long Suffering Spouse and I went to a 10:30 showing of Wall-E.

Of course, we went to a 10:30 a.m. showing over the weekend, and caught no end of grief for it.

My friend Steve and his wife chided Long Suffering Spouse and me after Mass on Sunday for acting old. Sure, I said, playing along, and then (I told him) we went out to eat. Did you know, I asked as innocently as possible, you can get a big discount in some places if you go there before 4:00 pm? Steve eventually stopped kidding me for acting old and instead began giving me grief as the last of the big-time spenders.

Middle Son also accused me of being cheap. I prefer to think of it as 'frugal.' OK, yes, the tickets were four bucks apiece before noon. Why should I pay $9 or whatever the evening price is when I can see what I want for $4? Plus, I'm far less likely to fall asleep during the day than during the evening. Shouldn't that count for something?

But the real crime that we apparently committed, at least in the children's eyes, was in turning off our cell phones during the movie.

Imagine: We were out of touch for perhaps two whole hours.

We did turn on our phones after leaving the theater, at which time both Long Suffering Spouse and I were both treated to a two-screen message, ENTIRELY IN CAPS, detailing Younger Daughter's proposed plans for the day, plans that were in imminent danger of falling through because we had gone incommunicado.

Can I help it if she wasn't awake before we left the house? She made the choice to sleep in... we just moved ahead in our day without her.

And Middle Son left a message on our home phone telling us where his game was that afternoon and also complaining, rather pointedly, that we should have left our phones on.

But this experience raises a question: Is it now become a crime in America to be out of instantaneous phone contact at any hour of the day or night?

10 comments:

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

not as far as i am concerned. when you got up this morning and looked in the mirror, were you still the parent? were you still the one supporting the offspring? now ask the question again...

and i like to eat out early. you get good service because they are not busy. then at night we eat cereal instead of a big meal. or cornbread and milk but you didn't want to know that, did you? ha ha ha

smiles, bee
tyvc

Ralph said...

Patti and I don't go to the movies very often, so we prefer to go to an un-populated show time, and have most of the theater to ourselves. It's your date, not the kids!

Agree on the cell phones. Turned 'Off' in a theater or restaurant. Not even on vibrate. With two college age kids, I know how pervasive these things are. Too bad there isn't an Olympic sport for texting thumb action...

Shel said...

Yep I turn mine off at a theater, and I like early showings too. Maybe I'm cheap..erm, frugal, but I like to save money, and besides, you escape two hours of the hottest part of the day in a nice cool airconditioned theater!

Mother Jones RN said...

Shame of you! How dare you take your lovely wife out to a movie, and enjoy yourself away from your kids. *snort*


Actually, I think we need to rewrite the Constitution. Americans should have the right to bear arms and to turn off their cell phones whenever they want to get away from the rest of the world.

sari said...

we went out for ice cream the other night and apparently didn't close the door all the way when we left, setting off our alarm.

of course, we didn't have our phones because we were together and not expecting any calls from anyone else.

good thing we get a freebie per year on the alarm calls!

emmapeelDallas said...

Out of touch for two whole hours?!?!?! You may be old, but clearly, you're BAAADDD! I love turning off my cellphone, & when I'm home (alone) there are lots of times I look at caller ID and simply don't answer my phone...not that I'd admit that to family members who call...

Rob said...

One of my co-workers has a very appropriate motto: Just because you CAN do a thing, does not necessarily mean that you SHOULD do that thing.

We somehow managed to survive quite nicely 20 years ago without all of this instantaneous communication. Yet today, people seem to feel that they "need" constant connectivity.

Cell phones steal the independence and rationale from those - especially kids - who carry them. They no longer have to mentally map out what they'll be doing for the remainder of the day or if they'll need something from someone else at some point in the day. Instead, many cell-addicts just wander blindly off into the day, confident that they're always a mere button-press away from their parents, spouses, or friends who'll swoop in and rescue them at the last minute.

Cell phones may very well be the nastiest new drug around. Wonder how long it'll be before there are "Cellaholics Anonymous" clinics popping up?

Shelby said...

We don't even have a land line in our home.. cell phones only. And email.. And work email for all of us who work (me and hubs)..

Anyway, mom mom rails at me all the time because she can't "get" me when she calls .. see I leave my cell phone off much of the time because "I'll turn it on if I need to call somebody".

I mean gosh almighty, I have a phone at my desk 3 inches away from my hand all day long. My parents know the number. My kids know the number. My hubs knows the number. My boss knows the number. My friends know the number (friends that I like)..

Then I have an email that everybody knows also. It's not that hard to "get" me if I'm needed.

I don't like being at the beckon call of all who are in need of my voice. I like to be in charge.. And being in charge is turning the cell phone off.

You go guy.

Shelby said...

Oh, and another thing.. if it's that important-- they'll call back later.

Kacey said...

I guess the kids have never heard the old saw about..."No news is good news". I hate the way a cell phone is becoming an addictive way of life. Our contract just ended and I got rid of my cell, but hubby has his. We have land lines in Ohio and Florida with unlimited long distance.... why do we need a cell? Oh, yeah, so we can turn it off in church, the doctor's office and at the movies.
We love early bird meals, but then....we are older than dirt!