Saturday, February 18, 2012

People-Watching in Las Vegas

Valentine's Day in Las Vegas provided numerous very interesting people to watch. Any other time, I might not have paid much attention to couples, but of course Love was on Parade!
Or was it?

My dear sweet husband took me to a restaurant in the Paris Casino. There's a lovely promenade lined with shops and places to dine, and the high ceiling is painted with blue sky and clouds and it does feel like you're walking outside in the moonlight.
We stopped at the Cafe Provencal and waited to be seated. Inside, most tables were occupied by couples.
From my left, I could observe a beautiful young pair at the linen draped table. Both were dressed up, looking like they'd taken great care in selecting clothing for their special evening out. But something was wrong with the picture. For one thing, the young man's right leg jiggled up and down continuously under the table. Clearly, he was nervous. She, however, looked cool as a cucumber, well, downright cold if you ask me. As soon as the waiter took their order, she whipped out her smart phone, ignored her young man, and began swishing that finger across the screen. Well, since he was shut out, he did the same thing. As my husband and I talked and laughed, I kept an eye on this couple. Honestly, throughout their meal, not one word was exchanged. Both kept a close eye on their phones, though. Very sad.

Across the way against a wall, three couples dined together. All were dressed up, too, with the young ladies in long dresses. These people seemed to be having a fairly good time, and all were at least trying to act grown-up and proper. The one young woman I could see very well wore a strapless black gown, but she was a little too overweight, and everything just sort of...bulged. In addition, she straddled the chair so that her knees were as wide apart as she could get them, with the black skirt stretched across and her shoe heels were hooked on the side rungs of her chair. Get the picture? Did no one teach her how to sit with decorum or to be lady-like? Maybe not. So, I guess I'll forgive her. However, after a few minutes, half the table residents were swishing their fingers across their smart phones.

We ate breakfast at a MacDonald's both mornings. Okay! But at least it was a Las Vegas MacDonald's. Both mornings, the place was packed. We got our food and found a nice place to sit so we could watch everyone else. Yes, just as I predicted, half or more of the people had out those smart phones. The couple next to us slid into their booth, never looked at each other, and got out the phones. Both talked as they nibbled on their food, completely ignoring each other.
I think I have this figured out. Either we have no friends to talk with or text with, or we're of another generation in which we look at and talk with each other--even though we might be talking about other  people.
Don't you love to sit in an airport or large restaurant, or walk along a crowded sidewalk and watch people? To me, it's a great way to observe human nature.
Oh, gotta run. My husband is trying to tell me something and I'm on the computer.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


  1. That is sad. We've made a no phone at the table rule. At times it's broken due to friends-in-stress moments where the kid just has to be there for them. Hm. What did people do before phones when they were in stressful situations? Dealt with it? *shrug*

    Hope you had a great time without your smart phones attached to your eyes. ;-)

  2. I am the worst at people watching. I used to sit on a bench all day watching people while my children enjoyed their favorite amusement park. I never got bored. I tried to figure out how they got together and what kind of relationship. Maybe I was foreshadowing writing romance. :)

    We never talk on our cell phones unless it is an emergency in the car. In fact, every time I turn my phone on, it has to be recharged. We live in a pocket in the woods and the signal is quite weak so we just don't bother. Friends call us on their cells so we still get the free calls. Yep, you guessed it. We are cheap. We were assured the phones would work here, but they lied. :(

    I hate to see everyone on phones, especially driving. People miss half the world that way and, unfortunately, they get mugged, kidnapped or something worse because they aren't paying attention to what is happening around them.

    Glad you and your dear hubby had a good time and talked to each other. He sounds like a keeper for sure.

  3. Hi Celia,

    I've observed this "smart" phone phenomenon as well and thought - how dumb! My oldest daughter is on a campaign to get me to upgrade to the iphone 4S (is that right?) where the phone talks back to you. I'm too cheap to pay for the phone and the extra monthly fee right now, but I may eventually cave.

    I already feel "too" connected. Except for my kids and sisters, why should I even take a call at mealtime or when I'm out running errands? And yet folks answer phones everywhere you go - elevators, lines, at the park - all the time. Worse is being trapped somewhere and being forced to listen to someone else's mindless conversation. And my thoughts are always "why don't you hang up the phone and go do something instead of saying over and over again how bored you are?

    Getting back on topic: I enjoy people watching too. You brought back some good memories with your Las Vegas observations.

  4. Celia, you have called attention to a real problem in our society. I think the generations to come will be lost if they aren't in touch with someone all the time by phone, text messages or whatever the latest technical gadget is at the moment. Will they forget how to interact with real people? It's scary, isn't it?

  5. I really envy your trip to Las Vegas, as I would love to see the place! Love people watching too.
    But I really dislike the modern phenomenon of people contantly on their phones. Yesterday a woman in the supermarket who was on the phone to someone stepped back into me - and didn't even apologise! I went to lunch once with a friend who must have answered about 5 calls on her phone. Instead of saying she would call them back later, she held long coversations with each, leaving me sitting there twiddling my thumbs! Grr! I use my phone for emergencies only, anything else can wait!

  6. Not only is it rude and inconsiderate to talk on a cell phone when you are in the company of your friends but it makes me wonder, who are the friends they're talking to? When they're with those friends, do they converse on their cell phones to the ones they ignored at the table? what does that mean? I feel that people are disconnecting with each other. Technology has provided a way to avoid communicating face to face. I'm not even going to get into the dangerous part of talking on the phone instead of being presnt in the moment--accidents are bound to happen.
    My nephew married in Las Vegas. The family attended--and then promptly acted like crazy people. It's good that what happens in Vegas should stay there. LOL

  7. Loraine--sometimes I think we know too much about each other and the world in general. I can easily do without so much news.
    One thing I can say in favor of the phones. When my childredn were growing up, we had few fears. I didn't mind letting them wander and ride bicyles at age ten all over town. With no contact.
    Now? I wouldn't do it at all. The world is just not that safe anymore, and I'd make sure my child had a phone.
    But then that would add more problems.

  8. Paisley--I love to people watch. I don't mind getting to an airport way early like my husbands wants, because it gives me plenty of time to watch people. Yes, like you, I began a few stories about some of them.
    Oh,we're cheap, too! I prefer to call it frugal--for both of us do have frugal natures.And the only time our small out-of-date prepaid phones are used is when we're on the road, or out in public but separated. Just in case of emergencies.
    And yes, after all these years, I guess I'll keep my husband!

  9. Maggie--good point--I don't like to be too connected, either. Some friends I do have stay connected to their grown kids and grandchildren 24 hours a day, and talk often. I simply do not want to know everything they're doing--very little in fact, above their welfare.
    You? You should get one of the phones. With your daughters and babies, yes...they can send photos to you on their phones! That's what you want, for sure.

  10. Linda--you know scientific evidence already shows that our young generation are becoming disconnected from the real world, but totally connected to the electronic world. Humans must have eye-to-eye contact for proper development. What are we doing?????

  11. PAULA--you hit my sore spot--being at a table with a friend and her phone rings and she has this long conversations right there in front of me. What do I do? Where do I look? I usually get up and go to the bathroom and piddle around, leaving her alone for a while. Then when I return, she says--"Where did you go? I looked up and you were gone! Why didn't you say something!" Oh, dear me.

  12. Sarah--Yes, I, too wonder who those friends are, when I'm the friend she's with. Very obnoxious and inconsiderate.
    Well, since we don't know how to act wild and crazy, I guess I don't have much to hide. But let me tell you--I saw plenty of people who'd better be careful what they tell when they get home!!!!

  13. This really reminds of the times me and my other half have noticed how some couples (none of them young, I might add) go out and just sit next to each other without exchanging a single word. And these people don't even have mobile phones as their excuse!

    When we see them I always feel very sad. Imagine running out of things to talk about with your own husband... x

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Suzie--we have been married for decades--I won't even tell you how many lest you think I should be a doddering old lady. Well, I'm not, but some days I sort of feel that way. My husband and I talk all day, but we're retired and although we each have our own interests, we do spend a lot of time together.
    But when we were young, both either in school or working or both, with two kids to raise, sometimes we went for days without really talking directly to each other.
    So maybe an older couple just sitting doing nothing may have that silent communication that comes from longevity and constant love.
    I just worry about so many young people now keeping their heads down, gazing at a phone screen. It's so unatural and wrong.
    Thanks for your comment--I do appreciate your visit!

  16. Interesting observations, Celia! I never go anywhere without my trusty notebook, and I people-watch like crazy. Eventually, many of them will turn up in a story...wonder if they'll recognize themselves? Certainly the phone trolls won't--they have no idea anybody watches anybody, much less talks to them in person! Ouch!

  17. Celia. LOL!! Don't be substituting that computer for a smart phone.

    Loraine, I think it's wise to do a no phone rule at the table. We have a no gaming device rule at our family table and that said, Brent and I use our smart phones to track our points at the table. Aren't we bad?

    Even Brent and I are guilty are going out and paying more attention to our phones on occasion. But hey, there's only so much we can talk about and Brent and I do have very different interests. Though, for the most part, we're pretty good about leaving the phones alone when we go out.

    Vegas is a bunch of fun. Did you get a chance to visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop and see Chumlee? He's my favorite on Pawn Stars.


  18. Judy--Phone trolls. Love it! Yes, they're oblivious to everyone else. When walking around in LV, inside or out, you must be a defensive walker because they'll walk right into you.
    I keep a notebook, too!

  19. Steph--well, at least you're honest! I understand someone like you and Brent who have little free time to do anything--me? I'd probably want to talk, but then if I had a lot of catching up to do on the phone, I'd do that, too.