Sunday, November 14, 2010

You Can't Find 'Em in a Grocery Store . . .

     At the donut shop this morning, standing in line and overheard a conversation at a table of mature citizens.  I have an eye for older folks, so it took only a second to appraise the situation - 4 men, 4 women - clearly couples having coffee after early service on Sunday.  The men sat on one end of the table and the women sat on the other.  All touched by gray, all clearly comfortable in their own skin, and all engaged in separate but equal passionate exchanges about politics. One woman on the far end was spitting fire about someone in politics that I don't like either, though the day has erased the name.  (It's been a  long day, and I'm under the weather, but I remember thinking, "Atta girl.") The men's conversation was closer to me in proximity, so I picked up quite a bit.  One gentlemen was telling another about G.W.'s book having come out and how he was impressed with the writing. He said he had a granddaughter who is a reader, so he told her he wanted her to read the whole thing, and if she couldn't afford it, he'd purchase one for her.  His listener added his opinion about the interview he had seen of G.W. on "what's his name's show."  "O'Reilly?" asked the other. "No, he said. I saw that one, but not him - the other guy." I'd so fit in with these people.  And not just because I bought the book yesterday.

     It's hard not to engage when you're like-minded, and I wanted so badly to sit down and talk with them. Listen to their opinions on life and death taxes and the state of our country. I have my own opinions, but wisdom and experience offers a perspective that you just don't get from reading the daily news.  I try to usurp as much of it as I can when I'm around the wiser generation and I highly recommend this type of thievery.  You stand in line at the grocery check out and it can be depressing to watch the daily workings of life play out in the faces and actions of people who are more connected to the Facebook apps on their phones than they are to their inner selves.  And that's laughable these days, too. Who has an inner self?  As long as you can tweet or give a status update, nothing's a mystery about you.  Thoughts cease to be original when you find yourself sitting at a stoplight or at your work computer or laying in bed with your hands on some type of keyboard, trying to think of the cleverest way to say what you thought ten minutes ago.   Positive, comparative, superlative . . . sad, sadder, saddest.

     What these folks were talking about is worthy of a status update - one I'd take the time to read - one that says something.  One that doesn't involve an arm shot of how cute they look with their new hairstyle or with just a little bit of cleavage showing. 

     Ah, but ranting and raving against social media is hypocritical. I have my own account, and even though I use it primarily to keep in touch with family and post pics of my girls for them,  I still imbibe the sticky, sweet liqueur. To disqualify myself from the race just because I drink mine from a crystal goblet just isn't fair. 

     Who I want to be was sitting at the donut shop.  Who I am in the process of becoming is sitting at the coffee shop - someone who stares her friends in the face and engages them in lively conversation. Someone who buys everyone's coffee because it's my turn and listens to stories about their kids because I know them as well as I know my own and I care.  Someone who keeps up to date with the world and our country and has an opinion. Someone who sits just a few feet away from her husband who's telling his own stories and sharing his own opinions and who knows that he knows that I know that it's also because I love coffee and he loves donuts, and how that counts, too.