boundaries and etiquette

Yesterday while roaming around Yellow Springs Village checking out the fabulous art show and the village, everywhere we walked there seemed to be this woman.

The woman would not have been memorable or remarkable except for the fact that everyone could hear her obviously very private cell phone conversation. I couldn’t help but hear her conversation because she was super loud, and I say that as someone who has been told multiple times I am too loud on the phone, especially cell phones.

Truthfully I don’t know what it is about cell phones that makes people want to shout. And like I said, I am one of those people who does find it hard at times to modulate the volume while on my cell phone.

Part of me felt badly for this woman because she was obviously upset about something, but she was also incredibly angry about something so everything she said traveled. And she literally was walking around Yellow Springs Village with this conversation.

I really have to wonder if people have such a limited sense of boundaries and personal space these days and etiquette in general that they don’t realize we all really don’t need to listen to her conversation and she probably shouldn’t be so loud that we’re hearing the conversation? Yes holy run on sentence, Batman.

And I think boundaries and etiquette are something they have completely died during COVID-19. Here we are all were suddenly working from home, and it was like the normal rules no longer applied. For some, working from home during COVID-19 is like people can’t catch a break.

It used to be when you left your office you left everything behind until the next workday. But between cell phones and COVID-19 everyone’s world is now everywhere 24/7/365.

I will fully admit I am guilty of loud phone. But having become overly conscious of other people’s cell phone conversations intruding on outings that have occurred so infrequently since the onset of COVID-19, I have made an effort not to answer my phone while I’m out and about. Sometimes I just don’t answer my phone at all even when I’m home.

One of the things I will have liked about COVID-19 to be honest is the break from the world. Our world is not a sunny happy place a lot of the time anymore, and I guess for lack of a better description, I miss simpler times. Maybe it’s just being a grown-up or trying to be a grown-up, but I also think it is because of how connected we are to each other all of the time. Too connected.

I did actually feel badly for this woman because she and her high-volume conversation were oozing negative energy. And I know that sounds really weird to say, but it was like she was a Peanuts’ cartoon character walking around with a dark storm cloud over her head.

And it was such a pretty day out there yesterday. This woman missed all of that.

This made me realize why we all need to unplug sometimes. Part of me hopes that she figures out whatever it is that is upsetting her, and the other part of me hopes she never subjects people out in public to one of her private conversations like this ever again.

And on some level I owe her thank you because it made me realize how disruptive loud cell phone conversations are.

Have a great day it’s beautiful outside.

1 thought on “boundaries and etiquette

  1. It is so annoying to hear someone else’s conversation! At a grocery store, I heard a husband talking to his wife about a spice he couldn’t find “WHERE IS IT?” Another shopper, also searching the spices, looked at me. We each nodded and we pointed to the Smoked Paprika. The loud husband was between us. He saw what we were pointing to. “OK HONEY. I FOUND IT!” Other Shopper and I smiled and, after finding what we needed, quickly walked away.

    I wish there was a statement on a business-size card: “how many people are you shouting at?” “I really don’t mean to listen to your conversation….” or something, anything that would help the lone individual realize whom she or he is also talking to.

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