Mr. B and I went out to eat last week. As Sophia said on Golden Girls: “Picture it. A steak house in southern
Three kitchen tables sitting so close together that you could hear the folks at
the next table chomping tortilla chips.” Oklahoma
Now you have the picture in your mind, let me fill you in on the details. We were so close to the people at the table to our left, I could count the freckles on the bald head of the middle aged guy sitting there flirting with a woman young enough to be his daughter.
At the table to our right, I could read the “R” word on his watch with the sparkling diamonds where the numbers should be. He definitely didn’t get that thing at Uncle Moe’s garage sale last week.
The table right behind us had a man and his teenage son at it. The son pouted when the father made him put away his phone and listen to him.
And the folks at all the tables were talking loud enough that I could hear all the conversations loud and clear. It was as if they thought the menus came complete with sound proof, invisible walls which kept everyone else from hearing.
I was staring at the menu, blocking out both conversations when someone turned on several television sets. One was playing and afternoon soap involving a love triangle; the other was an info-mercial about stocks and bonds; and the third was a commercial about being frank with your children about sex and drugs.
I looked up from the menu to find that the televisions were not turned on. I was listening to real life. I didn’t know whether to plug my ears with pieces of paper napkins or to grab a pen and start taking notes.
The fellow in the real life soap opera leaned across the table and took the lady’s hands in his, looked deep into her eyes and promised that he would tell “her” about them that very night. I do not believe he was talking about his mother. Then he brought out a black velvet case with a sparkling diamond tennis bracelet in it. The lady smiled, kissed him on the cheek and seemed pretty happy.
The info-mercial fellow took out a sheaf of papers about the size of one of those catalogs that used to find its way to the outhouse at the end of the backyard. He proceeded to talk about the woman’s stock portfolio and show her how much it had increased. Then they talked about putting half of her cash assets into a numbered bank account in an island.
In the third booth, I heard “the talk”. The father downed three glasses of sweet tea while he stumbled over the sex and drug talk. Finally, he asked the kid if he had any questions and the boy shook his head. “I knew all that in first grade, Dad. Now can I turn on my phone and text again.”
About that time a lady sat down in a nearby booth, pulled out her cell phone and started telling the person on the other end about two women that she worked with who were having affairs on their husbands. I did check to be sure that the lady with the new bracelet didn’t hide under the table but evidently she wasn’t one of the women from the conversation.
I checked as we left and there was no sign on the door that said everything said or done in that establishment was confidential and those telling others what they heard would die a gruesome death. And only the brave or ignorant would give descriptions of who they saw with whom. The only sign I saw was one that said, “No Checks. Cash or Credit Cards Only.”
So apparently, I needed to rush out to the car, grab my handy dandy notebook and start writing it all down so that I didn’t forget a single thing.