In the midst of an afternoon slump, I told the girls at the office I was headed to the local coffee shop and took their orders. Ten minutes later I was wielding a cardboard carton piled with four very large coffees. The combination of having my purse begin to slip off my shoulder and balancing my precious coffee cargo made me nervous, so I stepped carefully. I was perfectly capable of getting the door for myself, but I couldn’t help but be pleased when a young man sitting nearby suddenly sprang to action as if he’d been poked. He nearly ran to wedge himself ahead of me with his arm outstretched to push the large glass door open. I smiled as I willingly fell in step behind him, a “thank you” on my lips, but all was stopped short as I realized the man wasn’t running ahead to be helpful; he was running ahead to be first! He pushed open the door just widely enough for his own body to pass though and walked out without a backward glance–not even a lingering hand to slow the swinging door down that necessary bit. I stopped short just in time to avoid having my coffee crushed into my face by the slamming door. I blinked, then turned my shoulder inward and nudged myself through the door. Once outside, I saw the man sitting in his idling Land Rover, calmly texting on his cellphone.
As I settled myself into my car, my father called me on my cellphone. For a few minutes I sat in my parking spot chatting with my father about my day, my job, and my upcoming birthday, when my father brought up his favorite question: “Hey, when you gettin’ married?” I groaned and got ready to tell him for the trillionth time to seriously give it a rest, but he cut me off: “Actually, I was reading an article about your generation. Did you know a lot of those boys your age are boo-boos? They have no social skills, it says. All they care about is male bonding and technology. Did you know that?” As I put my car in reverse and passed behind the Land Rover, I couldn’t help but sneak a look at the man sitting inside of it. He was still texting on his cell phone and seemed as oblivious as ever of his surroundings.
“Yes, Dad. I’m aware.”