Saturday, April 4, 2009

Happy Birthday

For my birthday, my son and I went to Disneyland. I’ve been there a zillion times, so when there were long lines for all the good rides, I didn’t mind skipping them. My favorite things to do is people watch anyway. Something struck me there which I’ve been noticing a lot. Nobody seems to be where they are anymore. What I mean is they are talking on a cell phone or sending text messages, or emails on a BlackBerry instead of paying attention to where they are and who they are with. As far as I’m concerned the only use for any of those devices at an amusement park is if you get separated from whoever you came with, you can call them.

The extreme was a couple I noticed when we stopped for lunch at an outdoor café in New Orleans square. The woman stared down at her salad eating forkful after forkful without ever looking up at her companion. She finally did move her gaze to the side of her plate. I watched as she typed something into her phone before going back to the mechanized eating. The man with her at least looked at his surroundings while he ate his burger. Then I noticed his gaze go to the side of his plate. I could tell by the scrolling movement of his thumb, he had a BlackBerry. I didn’t see them exchange one word their whole meal.

I checked out the couple with a baby in a stroller a few tables down. Their lunch arrived and without a word or even glance toward each other, they began eating. Neither one appeared hostile toward the other, actually they appeared completely indifferent. As if the hostess had asked two strangers if they’d mind sharing a table. But even two strangers would have had more contact than these two. They never even made eye contact. Never smiled or spoke. They just chewed and stared off in the distance. They didn’t have phone or BlackBarries as an excuse either. A divorce in the making?

On the happy side of people watching were all the little girls in their Cinderella blue ball gowns and Belle pink ones, along with some in multi color Snow White outfits. It’s funny how somethings change and some don’t. The princess idea is obviously still alive and well.

Oh, one other thing. Not only did Disneyland give me free admission, but I also got a big button proclaiming it was my birthday with my name written in. Then most of the employees, or cast members as they are called, kept wishing me a happy birthday the whole time we were there. Talk about feeling important – But then it was Fantasyland.

No comments: