It's funny how life sometimes plops you right into a scene from a book. I've had this happen to me twice recently.
One day it was while waiting for my doctor to return from lunch. We're sitting there, my husband, my daughter, and I, in the car waiting when an elderly men shows up. Now, having been to my doctor after lunch before, I already know the doors will be locked. They always are, and this is why I didn't get out of my car. However, this man either didn't know it or didn't believe it because he had to try the knob. When the door doesn't open, he then stares at the handle as if it will somehow change. Deciding it is really locked, he moves over and sits on the window sill (low, brick window).
Next approaches another elderly man. This one has a forked beard and a strange smile on his face. "Define 'strange,'" you say. Well, it was the I-have-a-secret kind of strange. He also tries the door knob. Forget that there is another man sitting there outside the office in the heat and us in our car. Perhaps the knob will open for him magically. It doesn't. Still smiling weirdly, he goes and sits beside the other elderly man.
Then a couple shows up. They look to be of Indian descent. What do they do? Yep. Try the knob. No, it doesn't open. Now there are 7 of us sitting there. A huge conversion van drives up. Out hops Ms. Sports Mom, wearing the expected ball cap, sports shirt, and toting along the predicted 3 children. She proceeds to put them in the back of the van and feed them. At least, I think, she didn't try the knob.
When I finally got into my appointment and returned to the car, my husband then proceeds to inform me Ms. Sports Mom breastfed her baby while sitting on said brick windowsill. Nice! "The doctor's office and a show," I'm calling that story.
Then today it happened again. I'm with my husband and daughter at a local Japanese steakhouse. You'd think we could eat one meal in peace, but no the whole affair turns into the most awkward meal I've ever had. We are first seated at a table full of big buff manly men wearing Sheriff's office shirts. No, that's not uncomfortable. Then one of them asks us to scoot down for his 2 companions. I quickly see there is no room for us now and ask to be moved. Already the meal is awkward.
We are moved to a new table when 2 people are placed opposite us. Now, I have to describe them because...well, just because. It's a man and a woman, probably in their late 50s, early 60s. She has stringy red hair, which the dye has come out from the roots, so in effect, she looks bald. He has long curly gray hair, unbrushed, a long goatee, and is wearing a black cap and a Bob Marley T-shirt. I think, these are not people who usually eat at Japanese steakhouses.
We try not to look at them and pretend we're still going to have a normal meal.
Then 2 more people are seated between us and them. These appear to be 2 businessmen of some sort. They look as if they might sell office equipment or something. (I'm completely speculating.) They order Sushi, so they are at our table but not eating the stir fry.
Here, the red head/bald lady latches on to the one to her side telling him people call her "Jaws" and please watch his sushi because she might eat it. I assume she knows them, though they didn't come together, but my husband later says no. Her companion - said goatee/Bob Marley guy then takes out a thing of orange Mio and squirts it in their waters. Odd, I think.
At this point, my daughter is now texting me under the table pointing out all this weirdness because this is what she and I do in situations like this.
The food comes and we are eating with forks like I assume most non-Asian Americans will do. Problem is, all the others - redhead/bald lady, BobMarley/goattee guy, and the 2 office salesmen are using chopsticks. So okay, this is a pet peeve of mine. I will admit it. I don't understand non-Asian people using chopsticks. But, I think, as I always do, that is their right.
Problem is, I begin to realize they are staring at us. No joke. Goatee guy keeps looking at me across the table. And businessman #1, arms folded across his chest, is reading my daughter's texts over her shoulder while glaring our direction. All of them chopsticking away.
It's exceedingly uncomfortable and awkward.
My daughter then begins to make a scene, on purpose. She is pouring sauce in her plate and trying to gross them out. It doesn't work. I am glaring back at them and deliberately stabbing my fork into my food as if to say, "Use a fork."
*Insert disclaimer against all those who would rather use chopsticks. I still don't get it unless you have lived in Japan.
I will call this story "Adventure at the Steakhouse."
I once made the statement, "Never argue with a writer." I stand by that statement. After all, life is made up of stories and sometimes they just deserve to be written.
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.