Saturday, October 15, 2005


Oh, there are some days that seem simply perfect. Beautiful, autumn day. Dried leaves on the ground. Chloe joyfully running around the playground with new found friends. Park bench in the shade. Utne Reader in hand reading Garrison Keillor.

Cell-phone-mom then crosses the entire length of the playground and chooses my bench to sit on. There are three other lovely, shady and unoccupied benches with excellent views of the kiddies. Why? Why must she sit by me? My peace is shattered as she argues with whomever about whatever. I don’t care. I really don’t care. I want to watch my kid play. Read my magazine. Listen to the crunching of dried, fallen leaves. Luxuriate.

What do I say? I want to ask her to move somewhere else, please and thank you very much. Yet I don’t. I’m certain that will add contention to my otherwise peaceful day. Without comment, without a glance I pick up my stuff (poncho, backpack, snack, water bottle, tote bag, books, etc.) and moved to a vacant bench. This time I was inconsiderate and spread my belongings out across the bench to ensure this won’t happen again. She didn’t notice nor did she care.

Within minutes a new mom approaches (mother of one new friend) and we enjoy a long conversation. For this I move my bags, snacks, magazines. “Please sit,” I say. And she does.

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