You are only young once

I was recently at a restaurant with a group of friends. After the usual round of loud squeals on seeing each other, hugs and kisses, more squeals of “Gee, it has been ages since we met”, we finally settled down to reading the menus kept in front of us. Important decisions ahead of us. Should it be the pizza or the pasta? The scallops or the calamari? The baked potatoes or yummy fries? And the best bit: should it be chilled Coke or….well, chilled Coke? ( Sorry, all you wine & champagne lovers. Nothing quite beats a Coke that’s chilled just right). Once the menu was decided and safely out of the way, we sat back, relaxed and began doing what we do best: talking without pausing.

While the others caught up with the latest news on every imaginable topic, I let my eyes wander around the room, drinking in the different sights. There were so many kinds of people there…young parents struggling to feed tired toddlers as they wriggled in high chairs, an old man leaning forward to fill his wife’s empty glass with water, colleagues catching up after work and gossiping (most likely about office politics). My gaze finally rested on a young couple, seated at a corner table. They would have been in their late twenties. A beautiful candle placed at the centre of their table flickered romantically between them. Their delicious dinner had been served, the cutlery had been placed at the right angles and the champagne had been poured into tall flute glasses. Were they holding hands? Gazing into each others’ eyes? Laughing at a shared memory? Clinking glasses and drinking to their future? They weren’t. The young man and the young woman were completely engrossed…….texting on their respective mobiles !!! I honestly could not believe my eyes. What has the world come to?

I had a great longing to get up, walk up to them and say: “You Are Only Young Once, my dears. Ever thought about talking to each other, laughing with each other, simply being with each other instead of texting/ facebooking / twittering etc etc???

I did nothing of the sort, of course. We live in a different world today to the one I grew up in. What I saw is the stark reality of modern times.

Yes, I agree that my generation did not enjoy any of this fancy and superior technology when we were growing up. And yet, they were such amazingly FUN years in their own right !!!

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