Bil has a real problem with cell phones. While working on a college research project, he discovered the link between cancer and cell phone usage. And I have read more recent articles pointing out the connection, as well. This is one reason we have not broken down and bought ourselves cell phones. That and lack of expendable income.
Still, my problem with cell phones isn't really related to cancer or even money, though they have certainly factored in to our decision. No, I think cell phones are just annoying. I understand their utility and convenience, I really do, but what I don't understand is why it is socially acceptable to answer and converse on your cell phone when you are hanging out (in person!!) with another friend. When I say this, I mean people who will talk for 20 minutes about absolute minutiae when I am sitting right there waiting for some attention.
Typically when your cell phone rings, you are either with another person or engaged in some chore, usually one that requires a certain amount of attention, like, say, driving or binding a flesh wound. Who decided it would be a good idea to talk on the phone when you are behind the wheel of a 3,715 pound mini van? Hopefully someone with vastly superior reflexes and focus than I.
I just don't happen to be a very focused person. Distractions, well, they distract me. And a cell phone blaring Beyonce's "All the Pretty Ladies?" Well, that's pretty distracting if you ask me.
And yes, I know that I could just turn the cell phone off in the car, but the thing is, I really don't need a cell phone distracting me while grocery shopping or running errands, or while hanging with the kids at the library. I mean, shoot, I almost lost Tommy at church the other day because I was talking to someone for a minute or two. Yes, the kid is small, but so is our congregation. And keeping track of yet another electronics device when I can so easily lose a twenty pound baby? Yeah, you can see the problem, can't you?
What's really awkward with cell phones, though, is when people answer them in front of me. I never know what to do. Do I walk away so they can talk without me eavesdropping? I don't know the protocol.
Not too long ago, a friend of mine answered her phone while hanging out with me. No big deal, right? Well, see, it happened that it was her husband on the line and she had lied to him about where she was. (Don't ask. Seriously, the reason is so ridiculous I still don't understand her rationale).
So, there I was sitting next to J and one of my kids comes up to talk to me. I didn't know what to do. Do I answer my kid? What if J's husband hears me and realizes J has lied? Will it be my fault if they argue and subsequently divorce? On the other hand, if I ignore my kid, she will just get louder until everyone in the greater metropolitan area will hear her and then J will really have some 'splaining to do. Is it my responsibility to get up and walk away so she has some privacy? Will she ask me to lie to cover up her lie? My imagination ran wild as I envisioned scenario after scenario in which I somehow get dragged into a custody battle, or worse yet, a smackdown on Jerry Springer.
I felt like I was a character on some pathetic soap opera. Desperate and Dumpy Housewives? I don't know.
Anyway, my point is, I have enough awkward moments in my life. Moments where I forget my neighbor's name and don't have the guts to just admit it. Or when I make a joke no one thinks is funny. And let's not forget all the tripping and falling I manage to do. So, no, I don't need cell phones to provide any more awkwardness, thank you.
And you know, I just am not that popular that people want 24/7 access to me. So, we'll save our money, I'll try to focus more and hopefully prevent car accidents. And if you happen to lie about your whereabouts to your husband, please don't answer your cell phone around me. I just can't handle the drama.
For more pet peeves, visit the Spin Cycle.