Earlier this week I was sitting in Dunkin’ Donuts, drinking some tea, and trying to get caught up on my homework. It is usually a fairly serene place to pretend like I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. There are few things to distract me from surfing the internet… ummm… I mean answering discussion posts that aren’t really like discussions but more like people trying to prove that they are smarter than everyone else but that doesn’t make me bitter oh no it doesn’t.
This day was different. There was a young lady sitting in the corner working on her homework just like me. Okay, maybe not *just* like me. She didn’t have a computer and was actually using paper and highlighters. Crazy, right? She paused in her pursuit of learning and made a phone call. Here was her LOUD side of the conversation:
“So (insert name here) told me that you were looking for friends with benefits with her. Is that true?”
“Well, I didn’t think so. I told her that there is no way that you would do that. I told her that we were engaged and you would never do that to me.”
“Don’t get mad at me for asking! I just wanted to make sure. I figured that she was just confused with the old you. Why would I believe her?”
And more along those lines. You could tell that the person on the other end was getting more and more defensive. Finally, she finished the conversation. Then, when she was done, she made another phone call and was talking about how someone had a disease — not sure what it was exactly– and that she would be pissed off if she had it too. There are so many inferences I could have made from the conversation.
Thank goodness I had my back to her, because I would have embarrassed myself. I was uncomfortable but entirely too amused for polite company. I couldn’t help myself. I awkwardly chuckled. I couldn’t believe that she felt that Dunkin’ Donuts was the appropriate place for conversations like that.
It got me thinking, though, about the differences in generations. Very few people who share my age bracket would have done as she did. Most of us would take conversations like those and conduct them in privacy– or at least not loudly. My teenage students have no such compunction. They share entirely too much for my comfort. They share everything on their tumbly-thing, bookface, tweeters, and whatever else social media they use.
(Putting on my grumpy old lady pants) YOU SHOULD HAVE SOME SECRETS! Nobody should ever know that much about you. It’s like not buying the cow because you’re getting the milk for free. Or judging a book by its cover. Or some other cliche that fits better than the ones I came up with. It just isn’t right and it makes other people (me, at least) uncomfortable. (Taking off my grumpy old lady pants)
Or maybe I am wrong. Maybe having everything out there is better than keeping secrets. Maybe full disclosure will help solve the worlds ills.
What do you think?
See this is one of the reasons I LIKE to hit up a Barnes and Noble or any place with a cafe area. There is usually high drama to be found. Which sometimes helps to fuel my writing.
Oh, I love to listen for story fodder when I’m just hanging out. Not so much when I’m trying to wade through Crevecouer’s “Letters from an American Farmer” trying to find examples of deism and nonanthropocentric behavior (and I’m not trying to say this to sound smart– it was HARD to read). As he talks about bees and hummingbirds and snakes and ants. My brain was exploding. 🙂
Seems to me that there are people who really believe that by some kind of magic no-one can hear what they are saying, even though they’re in a public place (coffee shop, bus, whatever) and shouting into their phone. I don’t get it. We don’t want to hear it and the person at the other end probably doesn’t want their business discussed in public, either. Keep your grumpy old lady pants on, I’m getting mine out of the back of the wardrobe to join you!
I think we should start a grumpy old lady pants revolution. We must standardize them so that people know they are special pants. I suggest making them stretchy for ease of taking on and off (really it’s for those days when you want to wear pajamas but can’t).
Thank you so much for stopping by. 🙂