I’m not exactly someone who embraces change — even when said change supposedly represents progress. In my experience, it rarely does.
For instance, I’m probably the last adult in America who does not own a smart phone. Wait, that’s not exactly true. If by “own” we mean “pay for,” then I actually own four of them. I just don’t use one myself.
Why not? Because I’m already way more “connected” than I want to be. I already get more e-mails and Facebook messages in a given day than I care to respond to. The last thing I want is to get dinged while I’m out taking a walk in the park or on a date with my wife. If you send me a message, I’ll get to it at some point — or not.
Another supposed “advance” that has me scratching my head is the ever-increasing size of television screens. As a guy who spent much of the 80’s watching football on a 12-inch black and white, I understand that a bigger screen is better than a smaller screen — up to a point.
Perhaps that point is when the people on the screen become bigger than the people in the room. One of my good friends, for example, has projection camera and a specially-painted wall in his basement. When you watch an NFL game on a “screen” like that, the players all look like they’re on steroids.
Here’s one more current fad that doesn’t appeal to me: dinner theaters. I’m not talking about the old-fashioned kind of dinner theater, where you have a nice meal and then watch a play. I’m talking about the new places that seem to be springing up all over, where people go to watch a movie while eating.
Where to begin? Let’s start with the fact that I have no interest in sitting in a dark room eating food that I didn’t prepare myself, or that wasn’t prepared by someone I trust. Otherwise, I would very much prefer to be able to see what I’m putting into my mouth, thank you.
Plus, if I’m eating, when am I supposed to watch the movie? Do I keep glancing from plate to screen? Or do I simply feel around for what’s on my plate then stuff it two-handed into my mouth without ever taking my eyes off the action? If so, then forget about extra napkins. I’m going to need a haz-mat suit.
Call me out-of-date, but I’d much rather do things in the time-honored way: a nice dinner, in a room with decent lighting, where I can take my time over my food, enjoy some good conversation, and perhaps not end up with special sauce on my sweater, followed by a long-anticipated movie to which I can devote my full attention.
And please, don’t try Facebooking me while I’m there. My dumb old phone will never know.
Rob Jenkins is a local freelance writer and the author of “Family Man: The Art of Surviving Domestic Tranquility,” available at Books for Less in Buford and on Amazon. E-mail Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit familymanthebook.com.