An Example

I sit on a flight from Phoenix to Newark next to an example of what’s wrong in this country.

I should have seen it coming. She was too young, too stylish. Her boyfriend had too firm a grip around her waist as they waited for me to pull a few things from my bag before putting it in the overhead bin. The vacant stare, the bored look. She tolerated me only because she had no choice. She wasn’t impatient; just disapproving.

As I now am of her.

She’s been sitting in the seat next to mine for more than three hours now. Not a word to me. How could she? She spent the first 40 minutes of our time on board — time waiting on the ramp to be cleared for takeoff — “sucking face” with her boyfriend and impulsively grabbing for the celebrity magazines she’d brought on board with her. She knows more about fashion than I ever will, but what else does she know? And what else will she know when her mind is so caught up in crap?

Funny, but I was getting to the point where I thought my harsh criticism of today’s youth was just a little too harsh and perhaps a bit misinformed. After all, how many young people do I really know? And are the young people I see really representative of all of America’s youth?

But after studying this prime example beside me, I’m now sure that I’m on the right track. Although I pray that this specimen is an exception rather than the rule, I doubt it.

And no, I don’t have to worry about her reading this over my shoulder. I don’t think her reading skills can stand up to any task more strenuous than reading the caption under a photo of Paris Hilton.

What do you think?