Saturday, November 1, 2014

Take the Phone Outside


At last, a free weekend! Well, more or less. We do have the Bleeding London wrap party tonight. But otherwise I am uncommitted, and I'm looking forward to taking the dog for a long walk and maybe finally making a dent in the Whistler biography. (I'm about 130 pages in after, what, two or three weeks? And he's already painted his mother, so I'm wondering what on earth could happen in the rest of this book.)

I blew my stack at a kid in the library yesterday. He was walking around the room talking on his cell phone -- and phones are not allowed in the library. So I asked him to take it outside, and he nodded at me and continued walking around the room. I asked him again and got the same nod, and he circuitously took the phone back to his table and sat down, still talking. He hung up as I approached. I told him in no uncertain terms that I was not making a mere suggestion and he needs to LISTEN TO ME when I tell him to do something. "But I hung up," he kept saying, like he just didn't get it.

I hate it when I have disputes like this with kids. I keep replaying them in my mind, wondering if I handled the situation well or could have done something differently. In this case I could have knocked the kid over the head with his phone, but I don't suppose that would have ended well for any of us.

Oh, and speaking of work, I volunteered for a new challenge -- I will be a chaperone on a fifth grade field trip to the British Museum on Nov. 11. Am I crazy? Probably.

Also yesterday, a coworker made me a terrific carrot cake for my birthday, and we had a little intraoffice celebration. The big day is actually tomorrow -- I think it will be a fairly low-key day, especially because it's going to be rainy. Dave suggested going to a movie, but you know, I am feeling more and more like I may be done with movie theaters. Why pay an outrageous amount to sit in an uncomfortable seat and be barraged with 1/2 hour of loud commercials, when we could stay home, rent the movie for $2.99 on iTunes, watch it whenever we want, watch it commercial-free, and pause it when needed? I used to mourn the potential death of movie theaters, but now I'm not so sure it would be a bad thing. It's not like people would stop making movies if there were no more cinemas.

Or maybe I'm just an ornery almost-48-year-old.

(Photo: Near Finchley Road, West Hampstead, Oct. 2.)

8 comments:

Ms. Moon said...

Happy Birthday, Steve! Forty-eight. Still a baby.
I hope it's a wonderful day for you. I hope you feel loved and cherished. You deserve it.

Elizabeth said...

Happy birthday, Steve! I don't think you're grumpy. I giggled at the thought of you ordering the kid with the phone to hang up. As the mother of teenaged boys, I support you! As for movie theaters, maybe London's are behind the times? The ones here in Los Angeles are so plush and comfortable, AND the one I go to the most has NO ads, just previews. You pay a few dollars more, but it's worth it.

Marty Damon said...

If you were as ancient as I, you could go to the movie theater in the middle of the day, pay $6, and be only one of about six people there.
Glad to be a retired teacher: some of my interactions with kids taught be the true definition of impotence.

Reya Mellicker said...

48? How exciting!

I'm trying to figure out a way to connect netflix to a larger screen than my iPad. I'm with you about movie theaters. I am over then!

Have the happiest birthday, Steve. I am so glad you were born.

Linda Sue said...

48 , so young...the first fifty years are just practice, they say. I believe it is true...I am just getting the hang of it. As time gets shorter I find that I have less patience for BS...that makes me a cranky old lady I guess.

37paddington said...

I adore the phrase "in no uncertain terms." My mother used it all the time. As for movie theaters, the one at 83rd Street and Bway is all red leather power recliners with enough space in between rows for people to walk by even when you are fully reclined. One reviewer said it was the most comfortable he'd ever been in a public space. I look for excuses to go to that theater. It is a total escape.

37paddington said...

And happy birthday again!

The Bug said...

I haven't been to a movie theater in, what, 10 years? More? I don't know, but I don't miss it!

I doubt I would have had the gumption, but I would have been tempted to just walk up to the boy, take the phone out of his hand, saying so that the other party could hear, you are not so be on the phone in the library, and then hang up. But then it would probably have been the kid's mother & she'd blow a fuse at you :))