News and Tribune


March 29, 2013

STAWAR: The bored horde


I’m afraid that I fall into that high boredom prone category. When I’m in a situation that I find boring where there is little activity going on, my mind is like a computer that automatically shifts into sleep mode. I find that I have these attention  lapses especially at continuing education seminars. 

I used to embarrass Diane by bringing along a big stack of paperwork to do during these workshops to keep myself occupied. Now it’s even worse with laptops and smart phones. I’m afraid that I’ve turned into one of those insufferable people who sit near the wall so they can plug in and pretend they are taking notes when they are really reading their e-mail, watching YouTube, checking their bank balance or making grocery lists.

I suppose my worst attention  lapse took place a few years ago at a department store. There were a lot of bargains and sales that day and Diane and I had been shopping for quite a while. After an exhausting search, Diane had found several items of clothing that she wanted to buy. I was tasked with watching over her intended purchases while she tried on some other things. 

I found an empty chair and put the clothing on the chair next to me. With nothing to do, except to sit there, my attention started to wander. Eventually, the lack of activity caused my internal screensaver to kick in; I shut down, and must have nodded off. When I was roused by a rude shake, I discovered, to my horror, that all the clothes had disappeared. Some overzealous clerk had taken the entire pile of clothing and hung them back up on the racks, literally under my nose. Suffice it to say that Diane was less than pleased with my dedication that day.

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