We have a lot of cool toys today thanks to technology.
From texting (which your sister loves), to iChat, to internet on airplanes, there is almost no place where you can’t connect with someone. But this immediacy makes things seem more urgent and important than they really are.
I remember that my dad rarely answered his cell phone. I once asked him why he had a cell phone if he wasn’t going to use it. He said that he didn’t want a phone interfering with other conversations he was in the middle of or planning to have. The person he was speaking to deserved his best attention.
You’ve probably noticed that your mom and I have started ignoring the phone during dinner. I think my attitude toward those phone calls came because of the example set by my dad. You kids deserve my best attention.
The phone can wait.
Rule 19: Read no letter, books, or texts in company, but when there is a necessity for the doing of it, you must ask leave; come not near the books or writings of another so as to read them unless desired, or give your opinion of them unasked. Also look not nigh when another is writing a letter.
Rule 20: If you cough, sneeze, sigh, or yawn, do it not loud but privately, and speak not in your yawning, but put your handkerchief or hand before your face and turn aside.