Sunrise over the Caribbean, where my husband and I honeymooned

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

People Watching

Over the weekend my husband and I went to Chili's for lunch. We were tired from celebrating my birthday the night before, so conversation was minimal. A comfortable silence that led to my intensive people watching. As I looked out the window I noticed a lone man approaching the door of Chili's. I could tell that he could see his own reflection in the glass window of the door as he studied his hair-do and made an adjustment to his comb over. I instantly assumed he was there to meet someone for the first time. Or at least hoping he was and even more, hoping they would sit near us. To my delight, the man and his date were seated diagonally across from us, right in my peripheral sight! Just as I suspected, a blind date. I've been on enough of them in the past to recognize the signs! Their menu's sat lonely on the table as they made small talk. My husband and I opened our menu's before the server even took our drink orders. Their server asked them 4 times if they needed a few more minutes before ordering. He finally recommended a bowl of chips and salsa to which they accepted, but then the chips sat there for ten minutes before one of them got up the nerve to crunch on one! It made me snicker to study the restaurant and the dynamics of the couples there. Jason and I are newlyweds and were completely content with small talk and even a little quiet as we ate. The elderly couple a few tables away were completely content eating in complete silence with very few words exchanged. I noticed the young couple with a new baby. Their eyes were focused on the baby and it was apparent that their goal was to be able to complete a meal without a meltdown. the entire place was interesting and each table had a story to tell, but my interest remained with the blind date. I don't think she liked him. He talked a lot about himself. "I" this and "I" that. Too many "I"'s coming from this man and too many "mmm, hmmm"'s and "Oh really's?" coming from her. Her lack of interest in him grew more apparent as her interest in the nacho chips grew more and more. "She doesn't like him." I say to my husband who responded, "who doesn't like who?" I tell him about my perception of what is going on at the other table. He asks "Do you think they know you are staring at them?" I tell him "Her back is to me and I can only see his face and he is too involved in himself to notice anything else!"
It finally comes time for them to look at their menu's. He's talking the entire time! I think it's about virtual video games! Oh Lord, have mercy on this poor girl. I know what she is thinking...."Get me out of here." She is studying the menu intently, not looking up once as her date babbles on and on. Never once did he ask her a question about herself. She stopped asking questions about him too, after she realized he'd bore her death. He thinks the date is going well. My husband is trying to get my attention. "Hello? I'm right here." He says. Oops, I'm completely ignoring my husband as I'm gaining insight and focusing on these two strangers lives. I just found it very entertaining and quite honestly thought it would make a great blog topic! A title came to my mind in an instant, "A guide for men and how NOT to act on a blind date."
OK, so now it's time for them to order. OH MY GOD! He ordered first! Didn't even give his date the courtesy. I wondered if men have been scared by woman's liberation. I wondered if he thought it would be an insult to let the lady order first, but quickly realized that this man just didn't have a clue. Simple as that. He proceeds to embarrass himself by asking a hundred questions about the menu, telling the waiter an exaggerated story about how he practices healthy eating habits and ordering his dressing on the side! I'm laughing now, as quietly as I can as my husband rolls his eyes. I continue to watch and confirm that she is SO not interested in a relationship with this man as she orders the greasiest most fattening burger on the menu! I can't help but recognize the irony in their choices seeing that SHE was the one with a fit body! "you go girl" I think. She wants to drown her boredom in the comfort of a burger! I'm impressed with her.
I am reminded of a date I had once that was just like this, and unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to sit through a whole meal. I excused myself to the bathroom where I called a friend to rescue me! Literally had her call me with an "emergency" so I could bolt! So I gave this girl credit for sticking it out with yet another guy who had no clue! I started to become a little bored knowing that I would never really know the end to this story and realized I didn't really care. What I really cared about is how lucky I was to be done with all the blind dates gone bad. I was grateful to be sitting in comfortable silence with the man at my table, my wonderful husband who is interested in what I have to say and who still lets me order first. When my husband finally said to me "Would you like me to ask them if they have room at their table for one more?" I concluded that the story at my table was more interesting.

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