A whole lot o' nothing. And then some….
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To call or not to call… that is the question.

Yes kids, I feel the need to revisit that little thing called “mobile phone etiquette”. It seems that many of us our lacking it. Big time.

I’m not anti-mobile. Not by a long-shot. I love my iphone. Can’t/won’t leave home without it. I quite liked my old flip-top too. Hello Moto? Hello! I’ve never been a crackberry head – but only because I went Mac instead. So, no, I’m not some throwback who thinks we’d all be better off landed. Au contraire. I’m all over cellular telephones of all shapes and sizes….

Except, of course, when used inappropriately. Then, I have to temper the rage I feel bubbling up inside me. The anger that wants to march over to the offending phoner, smash their cel, and walk away. Without uttering a word. Smash. Leave. Silence.

Time and place, friends….Time and place.

I was at the gym today and I had The Rage. I was sweating to the oldies, ipod blaring, in The Zone. Suddenly I found myself inadvertantly listening to a conversation. A phone conversation. The woman next to me had received a call, and proceeded to talk for 18 minutes. I know because I timed her on my elliptical machine. I concentrated on pushing with my arms, she talked. I increased speed, she talked. I changed directions, she talked. Finally, I began the cool down…Yep, still talking. 18 minutes of discussing whether or not her friend should move in with her new man.

On the one hand, it could’ve been kind of entertaining. On the other….the ol’ Time ‘n Place thing. At the gym? Shoulder to shoulder with other people? Hello? Inappropriate!!! You see, I could hear her through my headphones, over the sound of the loudspeakers and the hum of the machines. You know when it’s summertime and you’re trying to sleep and a mosquito buzzes right in your ear??? It was all I could do to slap her away….I moved on to the free weights, but she kept on going. From the elliptical, to the inner-thigh machine, to the mats. Is it me? Or is that weird? (It’s also quite impressive. She must be in spectacular shape if she can carry on a conversation while workin’ workin’ workin’ it…)

Later this afternoon, I went to pick up my 3-year-old from nursery school. There were parent volunteers manning the parking lots because there have been issues with cars, preschoolers, and blind spots. I was standing with my son, talking to one of these faux-wardens, when another parent turned her SUV into the driveway, and headed straight for us. I promise you without any spice that she stopped about a foot from my friend’s chest. I banged on her window but she was too busy chatting. Exasperated at the lack of parking spots, she finally rolled down her window to start bitching. When the parent volunteer pointed out she’d almost hit her and the young child next to her (mine!) the woman shrugged and said she hadn’t noticed BECAUSE SHE WAS ON THE PHONE.

Well. I. Never.

Is it me? Or are these people, erm, challenged? Who drives through a preschool parking lot without noticing that there might be, oh I dunno, PRESCHOOLERS in it! I’m all for using your phone in the car…If you can handle it. Is talking in the car phone like having good taste? Y’know, everyone thinks they have great taste, but most people don’t. It seems everyone thinks they can talk and drive at the same time…But can they?

Time. And. Place.

There’s a time and place for talking. I know because I’m a chatter. If you need to talk, do what you must. But ask yourself – does everybody else need to hear? NO. If you’re late for picking up a carpool, do you have the right to stunt drive? NO. For those too dim to figure it out, here are some examples of places wherein you may want to turn your ringer off – or get outta dodge:
restaurants, spas, theatres, performances of any kind….The list is endless.

So next time you’re in your doctor’s waiting room, or having a pedicure, or in any other close-quarter situations, think about sending a text before you answer that call. Not only is it rude to subject the rest of us to your convo, but, in a town such as ours, it may be hazardous to your social life. The person next to you pretending to read the Us Magazine is, in fact, listening in. Because he or she has no choice.

Time. And. Place.

So please….a little self-retraint, a little etiquette, and a little quieter up front….for all our sakes….


Anonymous said…

this should be sent to the newspaper so EVERYONE can read it..
I do understand.. when is the LAW comingin?

10:21 PM

Anonymous said…

disgusting. you tell it like it is. thank you 🙂

11:30 PM

Anonymous said…

Have you seen the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode on this? Larry David is alone and sitting next to a stranger at a restaurant. The stranger is on the phone. Larry is pissed so begins talking loudly to himself to equally annoy the other guy. It was funny.


March 9, 2009   No Comments


What to Expect When You’re Expecting

A funny thing happened on the way to the gyno….

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. You probably have. It’s the one about the pregnant woman? The fat one, who looked like shit and was huuuuuuge….

Sisters, you wouldn’t BELIEVE the things you hear when you’re knocked up.

Too big, too small, too fat, too tall. OK, not really too tall. Although “you’re wearing those shoes” seems to be acceptable. It’s not. Neither is “are you having twins?” Or “your face has changed”. Or “you’re carrying in the back”….

“I liked your hair longer” is never OK. Pregnant or otherwise.

And then there’s the age-old question: “do you know what you’re having?”

I’m guilty of it myself. Sometimes I ask out of genuine curiosity. Or for lack of something else to say. Either way, when asked myself, I couldn’t believe some of the comments. Especially for this last pregnancy. When I knew what I was having. But didn’t tell. It’s kinda funny when someone asks and you know but they don’t know you know. And then they get all cocky ‘cuz they think they know. But they’re wrong. And it’s a fun kind of smugness. Y’know?

Girls don’t steal your beauty. Or make you puke more. And boys don’t make you hairier. Or give you heartburn. Some of ’em do. Some of ’em don’t. It’s all one big crapshoot.

When you have two boys like me, people assume you’re going for girl. And you know what they say about ass-uming, right? I heard it all. And knowing what I had and what I was having, I can tell you people can be downright offensive!

No we did not try for a girl – we tried for a baby. We didn’t think pretty thoughts. No specific timing or tricks were involved. It’s easy to theorize about gender. But you get what you get. And we counted ourselves lucky with our boys. A girl would be great. But so would another boy. I had one stranger tell me it’d be nice to have a girl, “for when you’re old”. Huh? Talk about pressure on that poor daughter. Besides, who needs to have a daughter for when you get old? You can hire someone else’s daughter to wipe your geriatric ass!

The Boy People don’t like girls. They like to tell you mean things about their own daughters. That they’re moody. Or bitches. Or cost a fortune. I heard one freak-show tell me her daughter was hormonal. At 2?? There aren’t too many of these types around -which is a good thing, because they’re rather off-putting.

Chinese horoscopes, ring on a string, mathematical calculations…It all means nothing. Only one thing does: H-E-A-L-T-H-Y B-A-B-Y

So please kids, next time you see that pregnant lady, offer her your seat. Carry her bags. Bring her a sandwich. By all means, ask her what she’s having….but leave it at that. No stats, no verbal makeovers, no presumptions. And never, ever, EVER play the name game. Admit to nothing. You like ’em all. Congratulations are welcome. As are good wishes. May the labour be quick. And the weight loss be quicker. Leave it at that.

As a wise sage once said: Smile ‘n wave, boys; smile and wave.


Anonymous said…

considering how very tired you are.. you do a fantastic job of writng.
i love getting your thoughts o paper

12:56 AM

Anonymous said…

“bring her a sandwich”– you were so spoiled! and not even by your husband! bah-ha!


August 12, 2008   No Comments


No Snubbing Required

I had a “Pretty Woman” moment the other day. Movie, not song. And no, I wasn’t picked up by a zillionaire knight in shining armour blah blah blah. Remember when Jules walked into a fancy shmancy store and they snubbed her? Then she returned with Dick and bought out the place? “Big mistake. Huge.”

My Pretty Woman moment started the same way. My friend and I went into a fancy shmancy store. I won’t name names. Let’s just say Oprah is no longer a fan of said shop. She thinks they were rude to her in their Paris boutique. But I thought most Parisian boutique employees were rude to Americans. Our Oprah thinks it’s ‘cuz they’re racist. But I thought most Parisians…Nevermind, I digress. This Store…OK you got it out of me; it was Hermes. ANYWAY, my friend and I went in. And guess what? Snub central.

The sales-hag looked at us, gave a tight smile and proceeded to ignore us in favour of fawning over the woman who walked in behind us. She even gestured for a different salesperson to help, and I quote, flicking her hand our way, “them.” (to be said dripping with disdain). Rude/Not Rude. RUDE! Apparently, this Other Woman had the right to be treated like, oh, a person, because she was about to purchase a $10,000 bag. Hmmm. And yet, this Other Woman barely glanced at the saleslady or her investment, I mean, purse, preferring to type feverishly on her crackberry instead. The whole thing was bizarre.

My friend wasn’t nearly as incensed as I was. But I found it vile. This saleswoman had no clue whether we were big spender movie stars or glamourama queens or couture collectors. In fact, we went into the shop because my friend was returning something she’d bought there. And the other, much nicer and supposed b-list saleswoman recognized my friend to boot. She was a regular, yet still treated like shit.

If it were me that was the reg, I would’ve huffed up a storm, talked loudly, and made snide comments about how rude everybody was. Oh wait. I did that. But no one noticed. Except my friend. And no, she wasn’t embarrassed. At least I don’t think so. She thought the whole thing was amusing. I didn’t get it then. And I don’t get it now. In fact, I never understand why salesfolk in fancy shmancy stores need to be such snot bags. It’s not like they’re shopping in these places. They’re working there.

Sure, there are those who are rude shoppers. Often they’re the same people who are rude to waiters. Not a good thing. But usually someone who’s worked retail or been a waiter (and by that I mean waitress too) is a nice customer. Not necessarily a drop-a-bomb, shop-a-thon customer, but a pleasant customer. I know I am. An ex-waitress and an ex-shopgirl, I know how to say please and thank you. I know how to be friendly – but not too friendly. Hell, that’s almost as bad as rudeness (see: Gap). I pick up after myself in change rooms, I don’t leave things in piles on the floor. I even try to re-hang. And I don’t get why salespeople at some places are just so bloody rude.

Again, a friendly reminder: they’re working there. I’m shopping there.

I understand the odd bad day. And I understand having to deal with obnoxious customers, but come on people, let’s give the good ones a break. When someone walks into store that sells $10,000 bags, say hello and smile. You never know who’s buying what. I wish my friend would go back to that store and really do the Pretty Woman thing. But she’s a lady, so she won’t. I wish I could do it. Actually, I wish I could afford to do it. After being treated like crap by the hired help, even if I could afford it I’d hit Gucci. Apparently, they’re much nicer in there.


Anonymous said…

Edina Monsoon moment– but she confronted the girl: “You just work in a shop, you know” or whatever she says. As much as I love AbFab I can still never understand what the hell she’s saying. Seeing as how you’re an ex-Londoner, maybe you can translate.

1:32 PM

Nicky said…

That is classic. Too funny!!! I will always think about this when I shop now…


May 30, 2006   No Comments