Eavesdropping in the Coffee Shop

I’m sitting in the coffee shop, enjoying a few hours of peace and quiet sans enfants. This is a brief 3-hour interval during my week and I treasure every minute of it. Because the time alone is so precious, I put a lot of pressure on myself to use it well. I try to stay away from the house, simply to change up my environment and get away from the desk that usually confines me. Problem is, being in a public place puts me at the mercy of others who come to the coffee shop for all different reasons.

HEAVEN on a table, minus the equations in the notebook: replace with words! (photo: asymptotia.com)

Take, for example, the three middle-aged men sitting at the table beside me. Instead of resenting their loud conversation, as I have for the past five minutes, I’ve resolved to use their strange choice of topics as inspiration for a blog post. That’s called making the most of a situation, isn’t it? These men were sitting at a table near the window, but for some inexplicable reason, felt they had to move closer to me. They are all speaking at an inappropriately loud volume for such a space, so I can’t help but hear everything they say.

“So you’re growing a beard for Movember, eh?”

One guy laments his inability to grow a decent one: “When I tried, it went straight out. Looked awful.”

Another suggests that women, too, should have moustaches for the month. One guffaws, “Some do!” The initial guy supports his suggestion: “Fake ones, you know, just stick ’em on. Only seems fair that way.” WTF?! I don’t know what his idea of an attractive woman is, but fake stick-on moustache hardly seems reasonable. If, however, he were willing to wear fake boobs for Breast Cancer Awareness month, I’d might be open to trying a moustache…

One of the guys is wearing a sock hat, made of two grey-white-red knitted socks stitched together, so he has two little tails hanging off his head. I found a picture online:

Sort of like this, but not so nice

Funny thing is, I saw him here last week and remember him from the hat. He keeps it on all the time.

A couple of younger girls walk in and get coffees to go. As they stand at the table adding milk, Sock-Hat Man shouts, “Hey, Sarah! You gotta get some sun on those legs! They’re staring right at me.”

Sarah, who’s quite pretty, looks over in surprise. Obviously she’s just left the gym and is wearing stretchy capris, running shoes, and a running jacket. Her hair is damp and she’s a bit sweaty. “Oh, hi,” she says, without much enthusiasm. I don’t blame her. Who the heck wants their leg colour addressed at top volume in public, in November??

Sock-Hat Man keeps trying: “Are you still decorating?” he hollers. (Decorating what? Her Christmas tree? Interior design? I wonder.)

Sarah shakes her head. “Nooo, I’m coming home from the gym.” (Ah, suspicions confirmed.)

“Oh! So that’s why you look like you do!” he shouts. Who on earth taught this guy manners?! I wonder if he has trouble picking up women.

The men are now talking about smoking and drinking. Two are non-smokers. A couple claim not to drink alcohol. Why, one asks? “I figure, if I don’t drink gasoline, why would I drink alcohol?” Hmm, interesting juxtaposition, though I don’t quite get the connection. The other two clearly like that answer because they laugh loudly.

It’s time to head out and leave these three stooges to their musings. I have a book to read at the library for a few more delicious minutes before it’s time to pick up my kids and return to parenting reality.

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