Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Passage Of Time

It is interesting to listen to the non-work sidebar conversations that take place when a bunch of people arrive for a meeting before the organizer does. A few weeks ago, I caught a couple snippets as we waited for time to pass. One woman was telling her neighbor that ever since she got herself a smartphone - the device is no longer "just a phone".
Her addiction to it is evident. She is typing away on it furiously at all times and when she is not, her eyes are glued on the screen checking stuff out completely indifferent to those around her. She went to to say she could not imagine life without it because it would be no different than missing a limb. When the iPhone was first released, a lot of people I know felt pretty passionately about it and were quick to get one for themselves but even they stopped short of likening it to a body part. Two guys compared the apps they had installed on their iPhones and the discussions were not unlike those between J and her buddies about who owns what cool toys - and I am speaking of a few years ago. At eight, even J's friends are too cool to inventory their toys. The smartphone seemed to have caused regression to infantilism for these folks. It was a fascinating thing to observe.
The group across the aisle from me were having a conversation about women and meeting their expectations on Valentines Day. One married guy said that he quit doing anything at all because he could not keep upping the ante year after year. His wife knows not to expect anything and he does not feel pressured to out-do himself each year. Then they turned to the solitary bachelor in the group and asked him if he would ever marry to which he responded "Sure, if she will marry me".
While the phone and Valentines Day conversations were amusing, this one turned out to be the thought provoking one. This guy is dating someone in her very early twenties. The woman has the advantage of youth on her side and can be selective about who she marries - so it is only natural that she is not closing the deal with him. Ten or twenty years out, that would no longer be the case. The same guy would probably string her along, unwilling to commit. The balance shifts in favor of the man over the woman. The passage of time can be a force to reckon with sometimes.

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