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LUNCHTIME CONVERSATIONS

LUNCHTIME CONVERSATIONS

While we are on the subject of cell phones on the rise in public places as my friend Susannah posted on her blog earlier this week, I also have an issue. 

On our way to Troy today we stopped to get a quick bite to eat. There were a few customers sitting at booths eating quietly. The place wasn’t full by a long shot. We got our meal and sat in a booth by a window. 

Suddenly I could hear a man speaking very loudly. Yes, it was louder than necessary, being spoken very fast, and sounding like gibberish, as all foreign languages sound to me. I’ve often wondered when we speak in our native tongue if the English language sounds like that to others who don’t understand it. I don’t believe I talk that fast. 

The foreign language being spoken wasn’t the real issue here. Actually, I think he was speaking Spanish. I am illiterate in Spanish and any foreign language except Pig Latin and even that is questionable. 


I wasn’t required to take it in high school so I steered clear of Mrs. Yarbrough. I might as well take an elective I knew I could make an A in like Home Economics with Mrs. Canter. 

So this guy is sitting by himself waaaay over on the other side of the restaurant having lunchtime conversation that I hoped wasn’t intimate. I’ll never know

I know this was a fast-food establishment, but should that matter? I’m sure there were some patrons who could understand him and I seriously don’t think he was saying anything he didn’t want heard. But it was annoying and he talked louder than necessary the entire thirty minutes we were there. 

I believe this falls into the catagory of crying babies in resturants. Now don’t get me wrong. I’ll probably get slammed for this post as non-caring for babies and foreigners. 

I love babies. I had five myself and now there are eleven grand babies! Sometimes babies belong at home snuggled in their cribs late at night instead of vying for their parents attention over the din of resturant ambience. There are also lovely foreigners in my past, present, and future. 

H thinks I should just ignore it. Tune it out. His hearing isn’t so good…How do you tune out loudness as though it is a tv turned sky high? 

Everyone is tethered to their cell phones these days, even without the cord, and I’m just as guilty as the person next to me. Can you imagine what the decibel level would have been if one or two or even three other people had followed this mans example at the same time and place? 

There is a time and place for phone conversations that won’t be annoying to others. Another issue is we ignore others while paying more attention to our phones. 

Oops! I just wrote this post on my phone while traveling with H driving. I told you I was guilty! 

~Elle

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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

12 responses »

  1. I’m so glad we agree on this subject. I HATE CELL PHONES. I long for the day when, if you were out, and needed to make a call, you found a pay phone. Sigh

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  2. Many people text instead of talking on the phone when in public places. It can still be annoying, but I think that it’s generally less annoying than someone who is talking.

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  3. I don’t understand why people feel that that need to talk so loud on their cell phones either! Even at home I often have to indicate to my husband to lower his voice. Maybe it’s because one ear is covered so we don’t hear ourselves. Oh, and personal conversation in public! I guess some people are just so used to over sharing on social media.

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  4. My question is for the time before cellphones? Did everyone around rush for the telephone that was a landline previously? Yeah, we had a message machine, which was vetted maybe once a week?

    Okay, my significant other and myself; were having lunch on the cafe patio. When a man and a woman … I assume his mother? Come onto the patio closely followed by the waitress. He pronounces in a loud voice. “We’ll eat out here, because it’s quieter”. Then he proceeds to hold court with other diners at nearby tables. Spoiling whatever quiet we had had previous. Meanwhile, I turned around and caught the eye of the elderly lady and we smiled at one another. …

    Maybe? It’s personality not use of the phone … obviously? Cheers Jamie.

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  5. We went out to lunch today at a nice waterfront restaurant. We enjoyed the music playing in the background . . . until the place started to fill up. In no time, the NOISE and DIN of multiple conversations and clanging cutlery drowned out the great tunes and detracted from the rest of our meal. We couldn’t wait to get out of there.

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  6. A lot of the time, my ears are plugged with white noise (when working) and David Bowie (when not) so I am spared. But my husband rails against loud cellphone conversations all the time. In elevators really gets his goat! x

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