I’m glad there were no cell phones when I was doing my imperfect job as a young father. There was enough distraction from too many hours, too many Saturdays at the office. Frequent business trips kept me away from home for too many nights. But I like to believe that when I was with our children, we were together, that I was present.

A young woman crossed my path several time at Costco today, guiding her near empty shopping cart with one hand. The other hand held a cell phone tight to her ear as she chatted with an enthused smile into her phone as we passed each other along several aisles. A young girl of eight or nine slouched beside her, staring unsmiling ahead. She showed a resigned boredom to match the mother’s show of animation in her voice and smile.

I only presumed the woman to be the girl’s mother. If she was a baby sitter, she was being grossly overpaid.

The local newspaper recently cited that one-half of teens are sending over fifty text messages a day. One-third are sending over one hundred such messages. Many are being sent to a person within the same room, even at the same table.

I wondered as the woman continued her chat down yet another aisle. When the child gets her own cell phone, will they talk to each other then? Will they remember the color of the other’s eyes?

Gus Daum


About degus221

A Kansan who has migrated to Oregon.
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