There’s a first time for everything. Ah yes, I remember the days when, if you wanted a table in a busy restaurant, the hostess would write your name on a pad, tell you how many minutes you’d have to wait, and point you towards a comfortable sitting area.
Now there’s a newer twist. The technology that arrived with iPhones and iPads usurped buzzers. Where have I been you’ll ask? Hm, well, locked in my own little world still using a landline, and neither twittering, tweeting, nor texting. I do have a cellphone, but it’s only for emergencies, my emergencies. My immediate family and one or two friends have the number. Phone’s seldom turned on though.
Recently we went to a new restaurant within walking distance from home. I gave the hostess our name, told her there would be four of us. She asked for my phone number. I considered lying since it was obviously a marketing ploy — get our number and hound us with phone calls. But I gave it to her and prepared to wait. Not minutes, mind you, but an hour — an hour until we were seated, and forty minutes until we got the pizza we’d ordered the instant we sat down. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
So, when Leslie and Martin arrived I mentioned I’d had to give our phone number. Leslie burst out laughing. “You gave them your home number, didn’t you, Mom?” Her laugh bounced off the high ceilings.
“Well, she asked for my phone number” I huffed. “I don’t give my cell number to just anyone, you know.”
My daughter knew without asking that I didn’t even have my cell phone with me. She explained restaurants nowadays want your cell number to alert you, especially when there are a lot of people waiting to be seated. By this time there were at least twenty-five people standing around, and as many more walked out when they heard how long the wait time would be.
“I’m standing right here. If she calls our name, I’ll hear her…” Leslie started to interrupt, with a comment about my hearing I was sure, so I amended my words to, “…I’ll read her lips.”
“What if you decide to go shopping down the street?”
“If I wanted to go shopping, I’d go shopping. I wouldn’t be standing in line here…” I spluttered. “And, no, I don’t want a smart phone so a hostess can call me to say my table is ready when I’m standing two feet away!” Oh yes, I was on a toot.
“Other people like the convenience,” my daughter argued.
“‘Convenience’ would be getting seated in a restaurant in a reasonable amount of time, without benefit of a phone call,” I grumbled.
“Sorry, Mom, but you’re out of touch.”
At least I’m not as out of touch as my grandparents who refused to have a telephone at all. “If someone wants to talk to me,” Granddad said, “they can come to the door. We’ll set on the porch and we’ll talk.”
My mother was as frustrated with her parents as my daughter is with me.