Saturday, February 16, 2008


Nowadays, when you hear the acronym "PDA," you probably think about your "personal digital assistant," the expensive electronic gizmo that stores all your addresses, phone numbers, shopping lists and other stuff so that they can all be conveniently lost at once when the Evil Digital Gods decide to smite you down. Agnes has a PDA and loves it; I used to have one, but never quite trusted it...I'm sufficiently old-fashioned that I like a good, old notebook and calendar, and an address book with looseleaf pages. I'm just a low-tech guy in a high-tech world.

But my problems with that PDA are a topic for another day.

Today, PDA stands for "public display of affection."

I remember when I first entered the Air Force, I was told that we were to avoid PDA when in uniform...strolling down the street with one's arm around one's main squeeze can interfere with saluting the brass and, in any case, acting lovey-dovey with your partner fails to project the proper, ruggedly military image.

Of course, we all did it. When we could get away with it, anyhow.

Today, my feelings about PDA are a bit more complex. I really don't need to see young people groping each other and French-kissing lustily at the shopping mall, or to watch a young man stuff his hand down the back of his lady friend's jeans instead of just slipping an affectionate arm around her waist or over her shoulder as they walk along.

Sometimes, PDA can get you into real trouble. Actor Richard Gere was nearly arrested in India last year after publicly planting an overly lusty kiss on Indian actress Shilpa Shetti...something that just isn't done in that conservative culture. I am, nevertheless, moderately jealous of Mr Gere, Ms Shetti being an extraordinarily attractive lady.

But I digress.

I don't think anyone needs to be arrested (in India) or flogged (in enlightened places like Saudi Arabia) for overly enthusiastic PDA. But I think it's worthwhile to raise the common sense flag once in a while. As the old saying goes, "Get a room!" Lights were invented so we'd have something to turn off in bedrooms so that we could do the horizontal tango in privacy, and a public display of carnality isn't always the best way to display your affection for someone.

Call me old-fashioned (or worse), but I like walking hand-in-hand with Agnes, or strolling along with our arms around each other's waists. And I'm not above planting a smooch on her cheek or the top of her head (which - since she's a bit vertically challenged - is at just the right height). But I just think it's disrespectful and a bit unseemly to get aggressively affectionate in public.

Of course, you could use your other PDA to wirelessly transmit suggestive messages to the object of your affection, but it's just not the same.

Have a good day. Hold hands with someone you love, unless you're in Saudi Arabia, where they have special police to control that sort of thing.

More thoughts tomorrow.


1 comment:

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Holding hands is fine...but I hate when I have to be a witness to people playing tonsil hockey in public. I wouldn't even considering holding hands a PDA.