The other day I was happily shopping for whatever would fit me in a small size at Nordstrom Rack. (Of course I’m not small, I just want to fit into something small…….but that’s another blog). My cell phone rang shortly after I got there and I started talking to Patty. I still think I can multi-task. For most of my life, I didn’t even consider talking on the phone and continue doing whatever it was I was doing as a multi-task. Now, I’m beginning to realize, I cannot talk on the phone and do anything else at the same time. We talked some serious stuff…………..all the while I was looking through racks of clothing and pushing the cart around.
I really do try to talk a little softer when I’m on my cell phone in public, but I guess I must be pretty loud (see my blog ‘Art and Drama’ Aug 2010) while I’m in my own little world and not really paying much attention to those around me………especially when it’s a serious conversation with Patty. So there I was, pushing the basket around and every now and then putting something in it, and trying to convince Patty that she’s really one of the best painters in town. I’m also waiting for her to tell me that I’m one of the best painters in town.

So………..I guess I must have pushed my cart a little too close to a woman who was working her way down the rack toward me. Suddenly, and as a total surprise to me, she says “do you mind?”

DO I MIND???? Flustered, I say “oh I’m sorry” and back up. Immediately I wonder what I’m sorry for and why is it me who has to back up?

I don’t mind telling you that I’m a way nicer person than that old biddy! I would never have asked someone “Do you mind?” and after all, didn’t I apologize without even knowing what I was apologizing for?

“Patty now she’s in the men’s department!” “ Don’t tell me she has a man!” “Oh, maybe I should ask her if she needs to go to Sports Authority if she’s looking for a jock strap for her BIG BALLS!” But of course I don’t ask her because I’m way way waayyy nicer than she is! So Patty and I go on trying to be convinced of our great painting skills while multi-tasking. Actually it really isn’t important that we even listen to each other………..we just have to talk and do whatever it is we’re doing at the same time. Besides, Patty and I are pretty sure we’re ADD and couldn’t stop multi-tasking if we had to.

Science has proven nobody can really multi-task. Psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell has gone so far as to describe multitasking as a “mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously as effectively as one.” Yet…..I can dance and paint or sing and paint with no problem at all. Maybe I’d be able to do it faster if I kept my mouth shut?? Well what fun would that be? So I’ll do it slower but I’ll keep on doing it.

I think there is an art to multi-tasking. Or should I say trying to multi-task. Patty is convinced she can multi-task (even though I can always tell when she’s doing something else while talking to me on the phone) but it doesn’t bother me. Why should we change anything? The whole thing is…..Patty and I will always continue to multi-task even if we’re not performing multiple tasks as ‘effectively’ as a single task . Once in awhile some old biddy may get testy, but really lady? Is it that important to you to continue down the rack of clothing unhindered? Or shouldn’t you just be talking to someone on the phone and having a fun conversation while you shop!!!!

Can you just picture this whole scenario happening a different way? What if the biddy and I were each talking on the phone and bumped into each other………..we could have laughed and both said ‘sorry’ and backed up and maybe even had a lovely conversation and met a new friend, but she made sure that could never happen. Please! You biddy! Get a life!!!