We were on our way to an afternoon of errands, and my best friend and I decided to stop for a bite to eat. Deciding upon an oriental buffet, we soon pulled into the busy parking lot, walked in, and were seated in a somewhat secluded booth.
I had a small plateful of sushi and my friend was working on a Caesar salad. As I was lifting my California roll from my plate, I notice a family of four heading to the table next to us. Normally, something like this would not faze me, but that day was different.
The was basically nondescript: man, woman, dressed extremely casual. It was the two children that grabbed my attention.
Their son was tall and lanky, with longish hair and a scruffy beard. He was dressed in blue jeans and a loose T-shirt.
Their daughter was short and fat, with shocking pink hair and face piercings. She was dressed in sweatpants and sweatshirt.
As the two children started bending down to sit, their hands reached into their pants pockets and with graceful arcs of their arms, pulled out their smart phones. As they settled into their chairs, they were already scrolling their phone screens, eyes never leaving whatever they were scanning. Soon, their fingers were tapping across those screens, and there was more scrolling.
Yet, the one sight that really caught my attention was the vapid and vacant looks on these young people’s faces. They both had that “I hate life and it has nothing to offer me” type of look. The just-put-me-out-of-my-misery look. Their eyes never made contact with another person, even when they went to load up their plates at the buffet tables, for I could plainly see that from my seat. They did not talk with each other, nor with their parents. The two were clearly in their own universes.
On the other hand, the parents talked with each other. But not with the kids.
I have heard that many people have this vacant, dead look, this attitude, these mannerisms in today’s world, and on that day, I saw it for the first time in such an exaggerated manner.
I could not help feeling sorry for those kids.