Regularly, my husband and I try to sneak away for a date night. With six little boys, it is often difficult to find the time to connect and talk without interruption and so we started to make an effort to a get out together a couple times a month. We don’t have a favourite place to go and usually end up some place different every time. While the location changes, one thing never does – we are always accompanied by my husband’s cell phone.
Throughout dinner, he’ll get a text message that will “only take a second” to read. Sometimes it’s an email that will “only take a second” to read. Other times it is an app where he needs to check in to tell the world where he will is at that exact moment and we all only that it will “only take a second”. Seconds add up into minutes and those are precious when we have a babysitter watching our six boys.
We went to a new restaurant tonight. The exterior of the building doesn’t look impressive as it is in an older area and one might not find the mis-matched chairs all that appealing but it had a lovely atmosphere with chandeliers, candles on the table, folded napkins and the Standards playing on internet radio. We were greeted by the owner/host/cook/waitress who took our coats and led us to our table. As we were about to sit down she asks, “Do either of you have cell phones?” After admitting that we were in possession of a cell phone she responds with, “I ask that there be no texting in the dining room. This is time for you to be together.” In that moment, she instantly became my best friend.
While some people might want to jump to the defence of their precious cell phone and announce, “I’m an adult and can text wherever I’d like,” we welcomed the idea with open arms – at least I did. My husband made one attempt to “check in” with an app… but I kicked him under the table and told him he lost some points. Two women came in to the restaurant and they too were given the request to not use their cell phones in the dining room. They giggled at their table as one would sneak in a text or two.
I want to applaud the owner for trying to create an environment where people can be together and truly focus on their present relationship without allowing others to intrude on that time. There are too many distractions that pull us away from really connecting with one another. We’re rushed, we’re stressed and we don’t protect the time we have.
So thank you for not allowing my husband to text in the dining room. We had a lovely evening.