Tuesday, September 13, 2011

If I Could Hear Myself in the Mirror

We planned on eating dinner out that day—only one day to buy last minute items for our Labor Day camping weekend trip. We drove around the block and around the streets, finally a parking place opened up. I had suggested we eat at the salad place. When we walked in, I was frozen by the long line that wrapped around the salad bar. We needed a quick meal.

“What do you think? Should we go someplace else,” I asked

“If we go someplace else, we’ll still have to wait. It’s dinner hour.”

“Yeah, but this line is so long. We can ask the person before we place our order how long she thinks it will take.”

“OK.”

At this point, there was one more pair in front of us. They stared at the menu board in front of them, consulting with each other on what to order, their bodies huddled together. I kept looking around the restaurant and at the line, and then at them.

They turned to us. “You can go ahead,” the woman said. “We’re still trying to decide.

“Thank you!” we said. We approached the counter ready with our order.

“How long do you think it will take?” I asked the cashier.

She wrinkled her nose and put her pencil up to her mouth. “Oh, about…10 to 15 minutes.”

We looked at each other, nodded approval, and placed our order.

I let out a long breath and we edged up behind the others. I looked around and now felt more at ease to take in the wood architecture of the space we were in. Medium toned wood with plenty of space in between conjured images of a Spa. It was light, airy, natural. Clinking and clanking drizzled out of the kitchen area; Salad chefs focused on filling orders. I saw rows of spice jars up on the ledge of a carved out window. Desserts. They also appeared to serve a few other special dinner items, but I was in such a rush, that we both missed the specials board.

We edged up another foot, then the line actually seemed to be moving and I tisk-tisked myself silently at my reaction whenever I see a line. We chit chatted about how everything looked good and next time we’ll look at the specials board because whatever that was over there looked good.

As we edged toward the last three quarters of the line, I was drifting and then I caught the conversation behind us and I couldn’t help but listen. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that it was a young couple that may or may not have been a “couple.” I didn’t hear what was originally said, but it was what came after that interested me.

He said something first.

“And why are you telling me this?” she said.

“I don’t know. I’m just telling you,” he said.

“Seems out of the blue. Is there a reason you’re telling me now?” she said.

“No,” he said. He shifted one leg to the other.

“It just seems odd,” she said.

After that I tuned out. I didn’t hear too much more out of them.

We ate our meal and decided we needed to make one more stop that was within walking distance. We waited at the stop light and I asked my significant other if he heard the conversation behind us.

“No,” he said.

“You know how when you sometimes say something to me and I ask you why now—why are you brining that up now?”

“Yeah, you do that don’t you? You overanalyze things sometimes.”

“Well, that’s the conversation I just heard behind us in line. Isn’t that something? I know I do that but to see it. I felt bad for the guy.”

“Sometimes when we say something. There isn’t more to it than what we said.”

“I think he was just making conversation.”

“And sometimes we might get into an argument over it.”

“Yeah, and all because I might try to look for something that’s not there. It’s not too often I get to see what something looks like from that perspective. It was like listening to us on a few occasions.”

The light turned from red to green, we kissed, and walked to our next destination.

2 comments:

Moonwillow said...

I like this since I have a penchant for over analyzing everything. It causes a great deal of stress. Thank you for sharing this story with me! :)

Rebb said...

Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Moonwillow. It's nice to know that I'm not alone--of course I'm not--but thank you for sharing that you too are an over analyzer! :)