Today I finally had time to sit and get caught up with a girlfriend. Granted, that coffee was in the middle of a busy mall food court, but this still counts as quality girl time!
As with all girl chats, we started with the polite chat before we got into the good stuff. You know; how are we really doing, how are the kids, what is making us want to pull our hair out or cry bittersweet tears. Oh, and maybe a little bit of gossip too! Anyway, just as we start getting down to it, a gentleman who I would guess to be in his mid 80’s leaned over from his table and interjected with a little remark about an article in todays paper. An article about a very bad man taking very bad pictures. (um foreshadowing?) We politely responded, and then got back to our
Five minutes later the “gentleman” was on the move. He approached our table, picked up my giant purse, moved it out of his way and made himself quite at home with us, at our table. (Nervy!!) “Move over there, I’m going to sit and talk to you, I come here at noon everyday and am such a people person” he declared. He might have been old, but he was a quick one! This lonely old man had made himself comfortable IN MY SPACE before I even had time to register what was happening!
Okay, so he was a lonely old soul right? We could put our conversation on hold for a few minutes and have a wee chat with a sweet little old man right? (this of course is the super secret silent conversation that is exchanged between my girlfriend and I with nothing more then a glance ) At first the gentleman was just as expected…a sweet little old man, VERY quickly telling us his story of his many years in the military, his dear wife in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s, and his eleven children. He even had pictures. Cute right?
Ahhh, but then the tides turned! Conversation turned to “How his life sucked.” (his words, not mine) His language started getting a little more colourful? There was complaining about the Grandkids, getting his parts touched at the doctors office, talk of boobies, telling us we should “respect” our Husbands, back to the war, back to his wife and how her life is great because she is the sick one and he is the one suffering, again with the cursing. Ug. Now I was getting uncomfortable. My first assumption of “Awe, poor old lonely guy.” had turned into “Ew…time to get away from Dirty Old Man. Red Light Person. Red Light Person!”
Pretty sure my girlfriend was starting to feel the same. As much as I’d love to help brighten this strangers day with a little friendly chit chat….this was no longer feeling friendly.
I sorta kinda obviously checked my watch a couple of times, then we politely made our escape. Sigh. Sorry dear old “gentleman”. Next time you want to make small talk with a couple of Mama’s from the Suburbs, stick to the sweet talk of Grandkids or even the troubles with your wife. Leave out the cursing, private pokey doctors visits and the boobie talk. Your audience will last longer.