Peace of Mind


Peace of mind

By Joanie Buettgen

Copyright 2011

Last Tuesday I had to clear my head of the dust and dirt. Our neighborhood street is currently being re-routed with a new road. The loud noise and the daily challenge of avoiding the busy bobcats and thunderous heavy equipment vehicles make an interesting atmosphere.

To make matters worse the water in our house was due to be turned off last week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. With no running water this seemed like a good excuse to go window shopping.

All women just want and need no loud noises, no distractions, and no interruptions. I thought today might just be a quiet one. I was hopeful.

You see our life has been a little crazy lately. Our oldest daughter, Melissa, is due with her second child in June. She, like many mothers has been experiencing false labor pains.

To make our life even more exciting, our second daughter Rene’, is getting married in July.

With all these fun events, a shopping excursion was the ticket to my peace of mind. It always works. And my checkbook loves my virtual getaway.

Typically these short jaunts are quiet and uninteresting.

But today was different. The culprit, at the mall, was a cell phone user.

Now, one wouldn’t think this plastic, credit card size gizmo, should cause me pain. But it did.

While I was in a large department store, wandering in and around the sale racks, I heard it.

I peeked around trying to locate the annoying noise. Then I noticed a young woman had a cell phone attached to her head. The loud ring tone was followed by a loud conversation. As I meandered around the display racks, I constantly heard the phone. I felt like I was being tracked by a hound dog.

I know many people agree with me when I complain. We just try to block them out. The trouble is we can’t.

My question is, “When did it become okay to share, in public, a personal phone conversation?”

These numerous cell phone junkies are clueless when it comes to keeping their private conversations, private. I’ve had the displeasure of hearing many personal cell phone calls in the most intimate of places. The women’s rest room was the worse.

Meanwhile, while I was trying to shop, the cell phone chick seemed to follow my wandering path. As I wove in and out of every isle she loomed right behind me, chattering nonstop.

I noticed a quiet area and a man asleep in a chair. He was patiently waiting for his wife. I decided to sit down on the couch. I noticed he occasionally popped open one eye to see if his wife was standing over him.

Then minutes later, the cell chick appeared from behind a clothes rack. Her conversation with her girlfriend went something like this. “So…he called and said, ‘do you talk much on the cell phone’?”

“I told him…no, not really!”

I snickered to myself. The chair man smiled with his eyes closed.

Then with her gibberish she continued. “I think this guy wants to marry me. He wants me to become his Jewish bride. And have his baby.”

My jaw dropped.

My sleepy male couch companion suddenly opened both eyes. We both looked at each other in shock.

A few minutes later I heard her coming again. She suddenly appeared in the swim suit department.

Her conversation continued about her soon to be boyfriend.

“Where else would I be? I’m shopping.” She shouted to her invisible cell phone girlfriend.

The man and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. She finally left the swim suit section with a sales girl chasing her.

“Is there anything else you’re looking for?” The annoyed sales girl asked.

“Nope. Just browsing.” Said the cell phone chick.

Then my cell phone rang.

“Have you talked to Melissa today?” Rene asked.

“Not today.” I said.

“She’s dilated!” said Rene’.

“I’m not too excited. Baby’s come when they’re ready. And Melissa isn’t due until June 14. I tried to hold back my feelings.

We said our “Good byes.” Then I hung up my cell phone.

I tried to continue shopping. But I couldn’t.  

Then I called Melissa. “How are you?”

“I’m going on a walk. The doctor says if the baby comes now, he’ll be fine.”

I felt a need to go home and wait by the phone.

Afterwards, I had to laugh at myself remembering my dissatisfaction with the cell phone chick.

I think I’ll keep my trusted cell phone charged. You never know when you’ll receive that emergency family call.

Joanie Buettgen

Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.

Published:, Minnesota Moments Magazine,, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee.

Social Networking: Blog:,, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.


4 responses »

  1. I completely feel your pain. I can’t stand being held captive to listen to someone else’s cell conversation. You did a great job describing just how annoying cell phone chick was. Congratulations on your new soon-to-arrive grandbaby,

  2. Great job, Joanie. so glad you’re back. Just a thought, getting a short message saying “We’re on the way to the hospital,” is a lot different than a long shopping discussions. Wouldn’t you love to shove her phone in her ear?

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