At the desk, 1:07 p.m.
Sundays are a work day for us. We get up at 5:30 a.m. and are (usually) out the door by 6 a.m. to breakfast. We rotate between Pete's Kitchen, Chef Zorbas, Sam's No.3, and some other newer places that we 'try.'
The husband always gets pancakes. In fact, his requirement for a breakfast place is that they serve pancakes. He can rate the pancakes throughout the entire city. I usually get eggs and some kind of vegetable, but never green peppers which I call pesky green peppers or pgps for short.
On Sundays, we go to breakfast to plan the week. Over coffee, in the still early quiet of these diners, we sort out who is doing what when and what we need to focus our attention on. Recently it's been the husband's master's degree. It's not unheard of for us to discuss the next book, work through a plot line, or go over what resources we need to start or complete a home project.
The waiters know us. I drink decaf; he drinks caf. We both take cream. They fill the cups and disappear because they know - we have stuff to talk about. Outside of a few minutes of eating bliss, we talk about what's going on. We're extraordinarily busy people. This is a chance to plan how we can support each other through the week. And a chance to catch up in case we haven't
This morning, we went to Sam's No. 3. It's next to the Courtyard by Marriot which, for whatever reason, is very popular with Europeans. As the restaurant fills, you can easily pick out the people who are not from the US. Of course, they tend to be thinner, but Colorado remains the thinnest state in the country. Being thin isn't really a big deal here.
How can you tell the difference between people from the US and people from other countries?
- People from the US, regardless of age, are usually looking at some object - cell phone, iPhone, iPad, DVD player, video game.
- People from other countries tend to be talking to each other. When they laugh, the American's give them dark looks for interrupting their object staring.
After reading this column, reflecting on the separation between the rich and the poor, I wondered:
How are we ever going to solve our countries problems if we've lost the capacity to talk to each other?
"Unless the rich and poor encounter one another in everyday life, it is hard to think of ourselves as engaged in a common project. At a time when to fix our society we need to do big, hard things together, the marketization of public life becomes one more thing pulling us apart." says Thomas Friedman
But Thomas, come to breakfast with me and look around. No one talks to each other. We're so obsessed with being entertained that we've lost the opportunity to listen - even when you don't like what you're hearing - reflect on what you've heard, and respond.
This week, I'm going to go out of my way to talk to people. If I go to lunch with someone who's on his iPhone, I'm going to take it away. If our conversation gets interrupted by whatever phone, I'll ask for it to be turned off.
This week, I'm going to talk to people. I encourage you to do the same.