Ringtone Response

Last Saturday I was standing in the post office with about 400 (it seemed like) other people waiting for one of the two clerks to work their way through the mass of humanity in front of me. Normally I take care of almost all my postal needs online, but for this particular situation I needed to complete a transaction at the counter.

About halfway up the winding line was a distinguished looking man (he reminded me of James Pickens, Jr. from Grey’s Anatomy, which I don’t watch anymore so I hope he’s still on the show) with, I assume, his son; a young man who looked to be about 13 or 14. The father was talking on his cell phone for a few minutes and then a couple of minutes after he finished his call we all heard one of those ringtones that are portions of a song come from his direction.

Everyone in front of and behind the duo turned to look in the direction of ring and watched as the son struggled to quickly pull his cellphone out of his pocket and it soon became evident why he was trying to answer it so quickly because the lyrics of what sounded like a rap song suddenly sang out for all to hear, “I want to see those pretty motherf***ers” (or something like that…I have a difficult time understanding most words in rap songs, but the last two words were very clear) and everyone’s eyes moved from the son to the father and then turned away, most likely in an effort to spare him any embarrassment.

But I kept watching and saw the father’s eyes narrow as his son conversed on the phone. His eyes then flicked over to me and we exchanged what I like to think was a knowing look between two fathers. When his son finished his conversation, I watched him place his hand on his son’s shoulder and gently pull him in close to him so he could whisper in his ear. After speaking, he pulled back, looked his son in the face and said, “You understand?” and his son nodded that he did. No fireworks, no yelling, no making a scene, just a father dealing with a situation in a calm, controlling manner. Although the father may have been embarrassed by his son’s ringtone, he didn’t try to embarrass his son. I admired that.

Nothing really important about this and I don’t have a point to make. Just thought it was an interesting little slice of my otherwise boring day.

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