Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

DWI: Dining while ignoring

Paying attention, cell phones, children in restaurants, DWI

Liz and I stopped at a newish restaurant on the 60th Street Tosa border for lunch today. I'm not going to name it because the charming and talented Karen Waldkirch will probably do a real review on the place, sooner or later. Maybe she already has.

And because while the food was good, the service was not. They get a bye for being new, though. Let's hope they shake out the potentially fatal kink dazed service can be.

We sat next to a table full of kids. Daughter Liz rolled her eyes when I chose that table because, well, she's a waitress, and she knows what a passel of kids can portend--especially if you are somewhere where the service is v-e-r-y----s-l-o-w-----m-a-y-b-e----s-l-o-w-e-r-----t-h-a-n---n-u-m-b-e-r----o-f---c-u-s-t-o-m-e-r-s---d-e-m-a-n-d-s.

Since my Grandmother Clock has been ringing for a long time, I'm as drawn to kids as many are pushed to avoid them, at least in public places, and at least those not made more charming by the fluke of relationship.

The children were very well behaved, not fretting as often as my grown-up kid and I did about where our (water, coffee, utensils, yadda yadda) were. And they'd been there longer.

As we left, I stopped to tell the moms how delightful I thought their children were. They credited the diverting qualities of their iPhones.

"Sorry, Liz," I said as we left. "But you might as well know now: someday you will become your mother, as I've become Grandma." Mom always talked to strangers, who were more often charmed than not, but I remember cringing for a dozen years or so.

"It's okay, Mom. I've already started," she replied. "I almost left them a note. But not because the kids were so good: becasue the moms were paying them attention and not looking at their phones."

Ah yes. How often do we see people in public places ignoring those they are with in favor of those on their devices? And how lucky am I for having children in their 20s who. . . don't do that, at least not when with me?

Whenever I feel sorry for myself for being alone, I find myself seated near couples who, by the look of it, would as soon be alone. Are alone, for all the attention they pay each other. And I want to issue them tickets for Dining While Ignoring.

Kudos, young mothers, for being in the moment with your friends and your pretty darn good kids.

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