While going through things in my “de-clutter mode” I came across a small blank notebook that I didn’t really recognize. I opened it to find it mostly blank. The first two pages had some writing on them and the last page had some addresses and phone numbers. Upon seeing these pages, I realized it was the notebook I brought with me when I came up to Portland from California to look for a place to move to. I found the two pages of writing interesting and I remember the puzzling incident quite well. In fact, every time I drive by that McDonalds, I think of the incident. Here is the writing:
I was sitting down, having coffee at a McDonald’s near the freeway on ramp, waiting for an important phone call before getting on the freeway and heading back to California. I had the “opportunity” to observe several groups of teenagers, each one noisier than the last as they came in, sat down and interacted with one another.
I noted how every word out of their mouth was intended to shock and shock loudly. They didn’t care that there were elderly people or little kids in earshot. They just cared that they were noticed. Within ten minutes of arriving, they settled down. They had disturbed, interrupted, annoyed, and shocked sufficiently. Then the next group would come in and the process would repeat.
I thought back and couldn’t think of a time when I acted like this or when I had seen other groups of teens do this. It made me wonder why they do this. Is it a sign of the times? Is it a sign of affluence and a sense of entitlement? Never had I seen anything like it, any place.
I don’t know. It just made me sad to be sitting in the same space with such a show of self-centeredness and disrespect.