One day last week I drove into the Sam’s gasoline lanes and pulled forward so that the cute SUV behind me could gas up at the same time. I stopped my engine and took a minute or so to put on some lip gloss. I could see a woman and young girl in my rearview mirror. It looked like they were talking. I put away my lip gloss and got out of the car. I slid my cards into the gas pump and began to pump my gas.
When I looked over at the other woman she was doing the same. She was a nondescript woman with a black raincoat belted around her waist. She looked my way and I looked her way and we nodded the nod of a thirty-second acquaintance. She turned to her pump and I leaned on the back of my car when I noticed the young girl sitting in the passenger seat of her car.
“Oh, poor thing,” I thought. I could see a youngish girl with a kind of a twitch to her face. She would look down and then twitch. She looked up and I thought she was looking at me through her windshield, but she was not. I saw her bare her teeth and I thought, “Well, she must have some lunch remaining in her teeth.” She looked down again.
I tried not to stare but this poor girl looked like she was hurting. About that time the mother caught my eye and she nodded and I nodded and I almost asked her about her daughter, but I did not want to intrude. She turned again and kept pumping gas as did I. Furtively, I took peeks at the daughter in the front seat. I felt sorry for the woman. Such a sick child.
I looked out the side of my eye. This time the poor thing had her head tilted back and the sun was coming in on her. She had her teeth bared and eyes squinted. She continuously pursed her lips and tousled her hair. I thought she was in agony all twitching, squinting, and scratching around in her hair. I was about to offer to call 9-1-1 when she raised her iPad above the dashboard and I realized she was taking pictures of herself! Repeatedly!
Once I figured it out, I watched closer. She would move her hair 1/16th of an inch and Snap. Move the hair back. Snap. Lick her lips. Snap. Purse her lips. Snap. Bare her teeth. Snap. Tilt to the right. Tilt to the left. Snap. Snap. Snap. Face to the sun. Face down. Face up. Snap. Snap. Snap. Nostrils flared. Eyes squinted. Chin down. Chin up. Snap. Snap. Snap.
My pump clicked off and I had to look away for a moment. It was like watching an exotic animal in a cage lick their…well, you know. She was totally self-absorbed. She had NO IDEA that there was a world right outside her windshield. I was screwing the cap onto my gas tank when I saw larger movements out of the side of my eye. Oh, for heaven’s sake! She was tugging her boobs UP and the camera was tilted DOWN. She took another three hundred and thirty-two shots and her mom’s pump clicked off.
Lickety-split she pushed her goods back into her shirt, tousled her hair once more and pasted a fake smile on her face. The iPad was nowhere to be seen. She flipped her long hair over her shoulder and greeted her mother. I turned back to my vehicle, got in and drove home in stunned silence. I had never blatantly watched an entire session of Selfie–ism.
I know about Selfie’s. I have even had a few made with my sons and daughters. But when I think about the absolute self-absorption and the sheer number of selfie’s this one girl made at one gas stop, I am flabbergasted.
The numbers increase exponentially if we give it half a thought.
Whatever happened to the myth about Narcissis and the moral truth of Beauty on the Inside being more important than Beauty on the outside? How can we teach our youth to serve others when they can’t look away from themselves?
Maybe some of our technological marvels are really more Wolves in Sheep’s clothing than true marvels.
Something to think about before we snap, snap, snap ourselves.