At a restaurant eating at the bar and things are going well. What that means is I have food and beer within arms reach. There’s no seat beside me because someone took it to use at the other end of the bar. More room for me. After a while a girl brings a chair over and another girl stands next to it. I pay little attention to them until standing girl starts using my chair as a foot rest and leaning apparatus.
Truth be told that’s not what got my attention. It made me aware she was there but my attention was turned when I heard a sentence that sounded amazingly like,
“Like I was talking to like my mother like and she like got so pissed like because like she’s like that.”
That’s a third of a sentence I surely didn’t like.
Please believe me when I say the banality of her conversation didn’t diminish. But now that it was floating into my ear hole I felt trapped. If I’m not clued in to a conversation everything can pass me. But once my attention is there at least one of my ears is getting assaulted.
At one point she regaled her friend with her escapades of the night before. If a recap such as this, “So, like, let me tell you about, like, last night. We went to, like, a billion places. I got home at, like, three. My mother was so, like, pissed.” can be considered regaling.
At this juncture I must remind everyone that this is a person above the legal drinking age by at least a year or two. We’re not talking about a sixteen year old with a face full of deep aging make-up and bitching fake ID. All I’m saying is she should be way past her flagrant additional word usage. Like that’s all I’m saying.
Some times goes by and we’re now watching a game on TV. Could be curling, could be sumo wrestling, we don’t control the remote. All I know is my listening device has died of boredom so I’m not as clued in to her conversation. Pray for my ear, it’s heard many harrowing things.
The bartender comes down to inform the group, which has now swollen to four, that a table in the bar has opened up so asks if they’d like it.
“No,” says the self appointed leader of the group. “We’ll wait.”
I know what that means. It means she’s willing to have her group stand there as if they’re waiting for an elevator until I, my girlfriend, and the older gentleman next to her leave. She’s also betting that it’s in that order. Because, from my standpoint, if the old guy leaves first her plan is shot. And from my observation of him he’ll be leaving posthaste.
And I’m not going anywhere because I’m still digesting my meal. I know my girlfriend doesn’t want to leave because, well, she never wants to leave. It wouldn’t matter if we were ice fishing while a patrol is putting up ‘Ice Melting. No Longer Safe To Ice Fish’ signs. She’d want to wait it out.
The girl must realize that because, as we order another round, I can hear her stomp sigh. A stomp sigh is a level above either a sigh or stomp alone. It’s a combination of exasperation (sigh) and petulant anger (stomp). It’s rarely used and mainly by peevish twits.
I guess she devises a plan. I say ‘I guess’ because, truly, who among of can be sure she formulates anything close to a cogent thought? She leans heavy on the back of my chair while rhythmically tapping her heel on the foot rest of said chair. It is at this moment my next few minutes can go either way. And it’s all up to me!
If I take the bait and elbow her in the face I’ll probably be asked to never come to our favorite pizza place again. Which would make my girlfriend and many well tipped bartenders unhappy. If I stand up I’m pretty sure, with the amount of her weight attached to the chair, she’d at minimum stumble and potentially lose her balance and crash into other patrons and create a domino effect that, while hilarious, would be problematic for the staff to clean up. So, to maintain a civil world, I merely say,
“Excuse me, could you not lean on my seat?”
May I ask? Why can’t people be civil?
At this time, at this place, it is I who is renting the use of this chair and tiny section of the restaurant. I’m sure that means, under the Marquis of Queensbury or some other rule, I’m entitled to unmolested and personal use of this section. If I, the rightful renter, choose to share the space with someone, that is within my rights. But if I decide someone is an interloper to my space, I should have the right to request they vacate.
Seems simple, right?
I guess she mislaid the rule book.
“Excuse me?” Oh, so not a good start for our little poet laureate. “Don’t you, like, have a TV at, like, your house so you could, like, watch the big game there?”
I look at her for a second. Her eyes are blinking faster than a router signaling the downloading of Nick Swardson’s movie output. She’s fronting me with all the presence of mind of a half asleep kitty. I grin at her, this is not a smiling situation, and say, quietly, gently,
“Don’t you have a mother to go home to and disappoint?”
I swear she stopped breathing for a second. But then she regained her sense and told her gaggle that a table had opened up and they were taking it.
Her Mom will be so pleased she made one right decision that night.