House Guest

By Jack Kroft

So this, uh, woman came over to visit Lynley and me tonight. Just out of the blue. We’ve associated with her casually with mutual friends at various gatherings over the past year or so.

She’s about our age, upper 40s, but talks like a teenager. She’s divorced and confused in general about male-female relationships.

“He’s not the hottest guy I’ve ever dated, but he’s cute…”

Blah blah blah.

Boring, gossipy girl crap. Lynley and I are used to adults talking. Hmmm. We’ve never been around a person our age who acted more immature than our children.

I am SO glad my lovely Lynley isn’t that type of woman. Gag!

Just sat on her phone the entire evening, staring at her mobile device like a lover. No eye contact with either of us. Lynley sat near her on the sofa, offering a tidbit here and there. “I’m checking into a healthier lifestyle,” Lynley offered.

“Uhmm.” Came the answer from Ms. Device Addict. No looking up from her phone.


A long, eerie silence is broken by an offhanded giggle from our guest, still mesmerized by her cell phone screen. It’s literally affixed to her like an appendage. Her right thumb works the keyboard, pausing to scroll a screen as she navigates from social media to social media like Spiderman grasping from web to web through New York City.

“The Ozark Craft Festival is next weekend.” It’s Lynley again, trying to salvage any common ground. After all, Ms. Device Addict invited herself over after seeing us today at another area craft festival.

Not a word or a flicker of expression from Ms. Device Addict. The clock ticks by in agony.

This chick is single, and it’s no wonder. She’s got more boy drama than an eighth grader in Hollywood public schools.

Lynley takes a stab at a social media topic. “Do you Pinterest?”

Ms. Social Medialite bursts with sudden found enthusiasm. “Oh yes, I look up wedding dresses all the time on there.”

Keep scrolling, sister. It’ll be an eternity before you land a real man with your right thumb attached to a mobile device and the vernacular of a 14-year-old.


I’m so thankful for my guy friends, who like to talk about life and reality and ideas and spirit and process and struggle and victory and goals and…

Ms. Device Addict is whispering again. I hate that. As if I can’t hear her benign verbage about another guy. She talks of men like they’re Hostess Ding Dongs. “Do I take the chocolate or the vanilla?”

From time to time, she flashes her screen toward Lynley with pictures of people we don’t know. She announces this girlfriend of this guy she used to date, and analyzes her with the scrutiny a girl gives her first face pimple, frowning in worry over how she may have left this beau in the lurch in order for him to shift his attention to another unworthy bimbo.

“I’m dog sitting,” she declares out of the blue. She’s on her second glass of red wine, drinking slowly. “I need to go check her and take her potty one more time. It’s going to be an hour before I get home.”

It’s 9:26 p.m. I’m at my laptop, typing this, thinking, “Please. Just. Go. Please. Just. Go.”


She’s so wrapped up in drama and who might be texting her and what some guy is doing with another woman, the list of ex’s is growing and there seems no relief from this Device Addict. She’s still freakin’ glued to her cell phone. Her wine glass is now in the other hand, but she’s not drinking it. Which means she has no intention of leaving yet.

9:30 p.m. I’m growing weary of the bizarre isolation. Lynley has slumped into device mode on her end of the sofa. It’s a two woman see saw of eerie silence spoiled by a sudden, awkward giggle from our guest and a story about some unfortunate person we don’t know. “My sister-in-laws cousin got pulled over yesterday.”

Blah. Blah. Blah!

I finally disappeared into the bedroom and crawled into bed with my clothes on and turned out the light. I can’t deal with this inanity insanity.

She finally excused herself and Lynley and I were left to pick up the pieces of our sabotaged evening, which, by the way, wasn’t a total wash. She bought two of my books.

Jack Kroft goes by another name, John Cockroft, when he authors books which are available on He and Lynley are also featured at TwentyFourSevenMarriage on YouTube.


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