Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

People Watching

My continued involvement in the Navy Reserve requires me to travel a fair amount. A couple of weeks ago I attended a military workshop in San Diego. As I sat in the airport waiting for my flight, I couldn’t help but observe a number of quirks and other odd human characteristics. Allow me to elaborate.

Cell Phones. This wonderful convenience has become indispensable. Folks were sitting all around the gate area waiting for the same flight, and at least half were using their cell phones. Some were using the phones to play electronic games. Very few people were actually engaged in face-to-face conversation.

Another phenomenon that is really apparent in the use of cell phones, especially in a public setting such as the airport gate area, is the decibel level of the human voice when speaking into a cell phone. What is it about people speaking so loudly when they are on cell phones? For those of you who feel the need to include everyone within fifty yards of your call, here’s a news flash: Keep it to yourself. I don’t want to listen to your personal conversation.

Sitting in one of the eating establishments near the gate, I noticed two guys sitting at a nearby table. One was on his cell phone animatedly talking (loudly). His friend, sitting across from him, had his cell phone in his hand. He was playing a computer game.

Clothing. Absence of appropriate clothing would be a better description. I am amazed at the lack of discretion people show in the clothing they wear publicly. I’m old enough to remember when flying on an airplane was a big deal. We would actually dress up. As a little guy I would have on pressed pants, white shirt, clip-on bow tie and a sport coat.

Today, anything goes when it comes to what people wear while traveling. Admittedly, I normally wear blue jeans and a polo shirt when traveling by air. But my jeans are clean, pressed, and have no holes. Nor do I wear them like so many of the young guys wear today – halfway down their posteriors. I have to admit I am laughing when I see one of these guys walking by with his pants hanging low enough to where I’m convinced a healthy sneeze would bring them all the way to the floor. It’s comical! I’m easily amused anyway. Hopefully I won’t laugh at the wrong guy!

The weather in California has been very wet and cold this winter and spring. I’ve heard it set a record. I believe it. Well, the sun’s out again. Spring is here in typical California fashion. This means some women make brainless decisions regarding the clothing they choose.

The human body is an amazingly wonderful structure. I truly appreciate God’s handiwork. He designed us to be attracted to the opposite sex. As the French phrase goes, “Viva la difference!” But please, ladies! Leave something to the imagination. I am finding that I must increasingly look down or turn away from a woman who is passing by. Besides, most folks do not have a body that is that remarkable. Save it for the bedroom – shared with your spouse.

Here’s an idea. As people pass through the security check-point, they are assigned a clothing code, much like movies are rated. For instance, a person wearing a suit would be labeled “G.” Then you can run this all the way to the “R” rating that I witnessed on my most recent trip. One woman wore clothing that would not have even been enough at the beach or swimming pool. Modesty prevents me from providing a more complete description.

Security Guards. These folks with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) do an amazing job. I cannot even imagine doing what they do. Yes, they get paid to do it, but let’s be honest – would you really want to check people all day, every day? There are more than enough travelers passing through security who show their resentment at being so inconvenienced. My response: 9/11. Get used to it.

With few exceptions, I have found the folks with TSA to be professional, considerate, and understanding. Look, they don’t like to have you remove your shoes. They don’t enjoy having you raise your arms so they can pass a wand over you. They don’t get a kick out of having you turn your belt buckle out. It can’t be much fun digging through someone’s purse, briefcase, or carry-on bag. I’m sure they’ve seen everything. Actually, I’m surprised someone hasn’t written a book about the odd and disgusting things TSA agents have found while trying to protect you and me from terrorists and other idiots.

Here’s a suggestion. Be nice to these folks. You’ll feel better, and you just might make their day a bit more pleasant.

Watching people is one of the many reasons I have no problem believing in God. Surely, He has a great sense of humor! After all, we humans provide so much entertainment for Him and each other!

No comments:

Psalm for the Day