I have this tendency to observe people while in public and offer you, dear reader, a moment to offer some self-reflection.
Recently, I was sitting in my vehicle on the corner of Westover and Newman Street in East Tawas waiting for a friend. The town was booming with foot traffic (summer tourist season in full bloom for a change!) and what enters into my view a young couple (early to mid 20’s I’d say) walking in unison side-by-side in close proximity to one another.
I assume they are in a relationship due to the fact that they were wearing matching ankle tattoos of what looked like dolphins shaped in a heart, anyway, the pair are preoccupied. They are nose deep in the their own personal Apple iPhones and both seem interested in whatever is on screen but not in each other.
This perplexed me. There was no conversation, no eye contact, no actual connection to each other. I couldn’t help but think maybe they were actually texting one another? So what in blazes could be that interesting to draw their attention away from their own physical companionship? Videos of cute kittens? The latest Tik-Tok horseplay? Facebook? Regardless, this made me quite sad and gave me a longing for the good old days of pre-modern technology
Fast forward to a few days later I am at the Tawas City Wal-Mart (let’s face it, that is where people congregate in a small town like Tawas City) and I spot a handsome couple shopping in the store. They are in their mid 30s, maybe even their early 40’s.
The couple was made up of a man with a woman confined in a wheelchair. He carefully navigated her down the aisles with precision and control and it was obvious that they are were in a relationship (possibly even married), with facial expressions, body language and eye contact rather evident and not forced.
I did not follow them around the store but just by circumstance (even chance) our paths crossed at the check-out lane (they were in front of me). He was very accommodating to her, talking to her normally even with a hint of unconditional passion (and no cell phone in hand) while they were placing their items on the conveyor for the cashier when – without a beat – he brushed her hair from her brow and they both locked eyes and grimaced simultaneously.
At that moment, I sensed a swell of pure admiration between them. I actually got choked up by the moment; it was very real, very organic. It’s funny how life’s moments unfold to show one inspiration. I thought I’d share that story and that said, as we embark on the dog days of Summer, I want to take a moment to wish you all and your families a fantastic and safe Labor Day holiday!