When I was a child, if the phone rang at dinner time we were instructed to let it go. As a teen, even when cordless telephones became popular..we had the ability to bring the phone to the table but it was not allowed to be used. It was only at the table if someone was on it and hung up as they sat down to eat. I was taught that it is rude to get up and answer the phone at dinner (or any other group meal for that matter).
So why do people feel it's acceptable to answer the phone or text while otherwise engaged in a conversation with me??? I recently had dinner with a friend I haven't seen in a while. I thought it would be nice to meet in person and catch up instead of having another impersonal email blurb. I honestly felt like I was competing with the cell phone! About 90% of the time she was looking down texting a conversation with someone else! WTF?? Was what I had to say so uninteresting that she had to preoccupy her time socializing with someone else? Why in the world would she think that behavior is acceptable? It was as though I was in the middle of a conversation and instead of another party verbally interrupting me, I was interrupted by someone who wasn't even there! Or speaking for that matter!
Now keep in mind, my friend is not an active politician, a doctor or on any organ recipient list. There was absolutely nothing that needed her attention right away, at that same moment we were having dinner. I simply cannot understand why she could not (1) Let the phone go straight to voicemail or (2) Text her friend to tell her that she is busy and will continue their conversation later. Believe me, being the "fair" looking one in a circle of good looking friends...I am accustomed to being ignored. However, usually there is another human physically causing me to be out casted. At least in that situation there was usually a "wingman" to entertain me. I mean, how would she react if she was half way into a conversation and I decided to whip out a book? Is there really a difference? I would be sending the message that whatever she has to say is not important or interesting enough for me to listen..so instead of getting up and leaving I will just find another way to entertain myself.
I knew I could not compete with this electronic nuisance. As the saying goes "If you can't beat them, join them." I ordered 3 drinks, took out my phone and texted my friend the remainder of my story. Then I texted her to tell her friend that she owed 1/3rd of the bill.