On Friday, the Meow family attended a retirement ceremony at an Army museum within a nearby base.
It was just the kind of sweet, heartfelt ceremony that makes you feel so much pride in the armed forces– especially in a place such as the one where it was being held, surrounded by mementos from the field and stories of the brave and the courageous (and tanks! and Howitzers! and tanks!) — and the honoree was charming and very moved.
She was also deeply moving, when it was her turn to say a few extemporaneous words, and brought those in attendance to rousing applause and tears when appropriate.
And then, the museum phone rang.
Telephones are a wonderful necessity, and perhaps one of the greatest tools of our modern times. With them we can keep abreast of important, exciting, or heartbreaking news.
But sometimes, phones are annoying reminders that we live in a very irritating and selfish society where there is no such thing as delayed gratification because the obnoxious person dining next to you has to tell his virtual dining companion all about the service at the place where he’s eating. Et cetera.
So when this woman was telling us about what her career meant to her– in essence, what her life meant to her– and that phone started ringing balefully and alone, I couldn’t help but think who would be on the other end of that line, hoping someone would pick up and maybe give them some information about the museum. Perhaps they wanted directions: maybe they wanted to know the hours of operation and so plan accordingly.
A trivial call. A call that could have been answered at any moment, perhaps. But it had to happen during this particular ceremony, with no way to break out of the solemnity of the moment– no way to search for the phone and pick it up and perhaps have a little fun at the expense of the unawares caller.
And that was a pity. A pity, but a moment in time that passed. I doubt that anyone else remembers this, and I highly doubt that anyone else present thought this was a bloggable moment, but there you are.
This all reminds me of one of my favorite schadenfraude moments, like, ever–
An ex-friend of mine informed her mom that so-and-so’s wedding –which ex-friend was attending– started at 11 am. So promptly at 11:10 am, with everyone seated and beholding the bride doing her walk down the aisle, ex-friend’s mother calls the bride on her cellphone, probably to wish her many happy years and much joy.
Of course, this being our modern world, the blushing bride had forgotten to turn off her cell phone, which she currently had somewhere on her person (on her wedding-dress-wearing person) –and which was presumably tinkling some annoying tune in a needy and demanding tone, as cell phones tend to do.
The bride was furious with ex-friend’s mother and ex-friend, and was apparently cold and distant through the whole wedding ceremony– because somehow the moment of joyous sacrament was ruined by a well-meaning but ill-timed phone call.
All I have to say to that is this: hahahahahahahahhahahahah!
If you don’t want to be bothered during a meaningful moment AND you have the ability to do so, I entreat you all to turn off the phone.