Being present

Last Friday night my wife and I had a rare occasion where she was off at night and the next morning. Typically as a theater manager her weekends are shot. Having a night off meant one thing: date night. We don’t get too many of those these days. Must be reaching that age.

We dropped the kids with grandma and grandpa and assumed they were going to be spoiled with candy and toys. We’d be back the next day to pick them up. Having zero plans we decided dinner was best. It was early on a Friday, perhaps around 6:30 pm but being December it was already dark and cold as hell.

Rolling towards downtown Cincy we chose the Moerline Lager House for dinner. I can’t recall the last time we ate there but it has been quite a while. We were seated immediately and the place was maybe half full. To my annoyance there was a table right next to us with a super loud kid.

I have kids, I understand that you can’t truly control them when they are little and in high chairs. However, having said that, this kid was screaming and throwing things since no one was paying attention to him. His mother (I am assuming) was with her friend and they were comparing instagram photos or some thing on their phones. The whole time this kid just threw a loud tantrum and at one point even nearly hit me with a flying toy. My wife asked me “aren’t you going to give him his toy back?” to which I replied NO since he obviously didn’t want the toy that struck my foot 5 feet from him.

So we settle in and order our food. I made a super conscious choice to leave my phone in my pocket so I could spend time with my wife. She chose to check Facebook and keep showing me updates on something happening at her work. It made me a little sad but I chose not to pester her about it. It gave me time to crowd watch, beyond the little brat to my right.

All around me were people sitting at tables within sight, and if they were not eating, everyone had their faces in their phones. It was quite a realization the extent of the problem. I totally admit that I have a problem not goofing on my phone too. But it was sobering to see it in that moment. All this potential for humans to talk and catch up, and instead a see of cell phone screens.

I quietly munched on the appetizer of a trio of dips like hummus and artichoke. It was wonderful. After that I had a “totally not good for you” burger. I swear three animals went into making this burger. I don’t care. Every now and then you just gotta eat an unhealthy meal ha ha.

Afterwards we didn’t know what to do with our earned freedom and ended up just going home for some tv time on the couch with a blanket. Pretty low key night all and all.

I am at least happy I didn’t give in to the temptation of my phone at dinner. Yay me.

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