Cell phones, blackberries, iphones, ipods anything hand held will be bludgeoned with a rolling pin should you turn them on in my house this holiday season.
If I can cook, clean, coerce, commune and condone loved ones during this forced festive time, the least the family can do is keep their frickin’ link to the universe in their car and be an active participant in reality.
After lecturing my kids on cell phone etiquette and how nothing should vibrate, buzz, rap, or high-pitched squeal that, although my eyes and knees are shot, this mid-life mom can hear quite succinctly – when we have guests, especially those called grandma or aunt or poppy or cous. Leave your text machine off and talk.
Play games. Converse. Laugh. Argue. Listen. Debrief the horrors of family reunions later on Facebook, but I want nothing but human interaction during the holidays. Not even “just a sec” texting. I don’t want to see it, and I swear I’ll family-plan or no family-plan, I’ll smash it if I do.
And they were perfect. At Thanksgiving, the 12 kids in my house aged 5-17 were ideal guests. No tapping, clicking, surfing; just playing and arguing and eating and talking. Perfect.
Their parents and grandparents and
everyone of One-A-Day age,
But what’s the matter with the adults of today? They love reality tv but prefer virtual links to the human ones sitting beside them, cozy in front of the roaring fire.
Grandma tapped her screen all Thanksgiving long, insisting for all in earshot and beyond, just look at this. “Just look at this,” she insisted, shoving an iphone under my face while I’m mashing potatoes. “Cool, huh?” Uncle kept a running commentary on his Fantasy Football team with play-by-play updates to no-one’s favorite players. Auntie hid out, the wireless access granting her unbeknownst freedom to god-knows-what-sites.
That was Thanksgiving. This week I host Christmas Eve and want all to hear loud and clear: there will be no internet access at our house. No cable. No wireless. No internet. No nothing.
Nothing but good cheer damn it, and a little nog. Perhaps a lot of nog.