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Do you bring your cell phone on dates...


... and is it on?

Almost never. I don't have a job that requires an electronic leash, all of my children are old enough to vote and thus technically don't need sitters, and the Aged Parents are far enough away that, to be frank, even if something unfortunate happened to one or both, the time it'd take me to get to them wouldn't be significantly shortened by virtue of my having instant notice.

Do you make/receive calls while out on a date?

I may have a broader definition of "date" than you intended here. It can include "spending time together enjoyably but not proximately." (Tends to happen later in a relationship, rather than sooner, but what do I know?) Translation into English: if we get separated while jointly pursuing individual interests or errands (multitask-shoping in different but adjoining places, browsing by interest in a bookstore, getting separated at a festival), and we didn't have the sense to say "I'll meet you back near the caber-tossing competition in 30 minutes," calling the other's phone is a great way to keep frustration low.

Otherwise, I see having a cell phone on a date as like having jumper cables in the trunk of my car. The phone's a tool, invaluable in some situations and convenient in others. It doesn't deserve prominence of place. It stays out of sight and mostly out of mind.

How do you respond when your date answers their cell phone?

If she's responding to my call, with pleasure or chagrin, depending on how we got separated and how much of that separation was due to my misfeasance.

There are always exceptions. One's been mentioned several times: "I'm on call this weekend, but I'd still like to go out if you understand I might have to take a call."

Another less obvious one is: "I have a conference to go to in Montreal / Seattle / New York / West Mudflap. Since I'm on the committee in charge of committees, I'm pretty booked Thursday, Friday, and half of Saturday. Would you like to come for the banquet on Friday? I'll see if I can break away on Saturday morning, and maybe we'll stay over through Sunday."

As Einstein said at his family reunion, everything is relatives.

...I have only lurked on this thread, and hesitate to wonder aloud about call waiting as a sign of [ being overscheduled / rudeness / social cluelessness / take-me-as-I-am / I-talk-therefore-I-am ].

I have a friend who can't believe that I don't have call waiting, don't want call waiting, and wouldn't take call waiting as a gift.

Well, I might, if you paid me a thousand a week to have it. But I wouldn't answer the imperious little click.

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