Speaking of cell phones (weren’t we?), I noted cell phone usage in the mall on Saturday.
I’ve been to a mall twice in the past 20+ years, I love it that much. I took grandson there (his choice) so that we could finish out our happy day together with a late McD lunch, where he was unacknowledged by an aging Ms. Six Hickeys at the counter register to the point that he came back to the table defeated, “After I got into the other line when told to instead of listened to — that I already had my order but had forgotten to ask for sweet-and-sour sauce — and after 10 minutes in that line, she looked right at me and waited on two other sets of people…” I had been shocked enough to see him empty-handed after all that time.
He blinked rapidly for a moment, something that wrecks (and should) the heart of an observer when that little formerly happy chatty person has already suffered more than most in his short life. Suffice it to say it’ll be an even colder day in hell when I return to a mall, though not because I caused a ruckus in direct view of a mall cop, which I most certainly did. You mess with my polite, people-loving, bullshit-forgiving angel-grand, you mess with the surprisingly spry fugly thing behind him. You will regret it. I won’t. He’s already consciously chosen not to become cold or hard in order to survive the cold and the hard. I do stand behind that. We had sweet-n-sour sauce in hand within milliseconds of my *approach.*
We were far from happy, though, for a while. It was one more thing that had to be talked to death, and a sad lunch (for me), and all of it ultimately to be excused by him. He was still happy to have found a blue spinner for his sister at a different store. He had missed giving her a birthday present at the time and promised her a desired spinner, and she had requested blue. (He hadn’t wanted anything for himself at the store.)
Fortunately, he is nice enough for two people, and if I am dragged to heaven on anyone’s coattails, they’ll be his, but anyway, other things have indeed changed at the mall. A few tables in the food court bore families who put their phones down or kept them in pockets (though not at the teen tables), but I watched as everyone — even grown men — weaved their way down the long corridor to the rest rooms while they stared at their cell phone screens. Adrift is today’s word prompt. Yes, indeed — that is exactly how they appeared! It might even shock them to know it.