Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another Day at the Coffee House

I had about fifteen minutes before I was due at the sitter's to pick up Jack and resume my role as working mom. Because I allow myself some time to detox - as in to take the toxins out of my body left there by the strain of 150 other parents' kids needing my attention RIGHT NOW - I decided that breathing at the coffee house would be the least I could do. This was, of course,under the condition that I do homework as I breathed.

I ordered my coffee and looked for a seat. The only one available was across from a man who kept trying to catch my attention. You know what it's like - the stare and smirk that begs a person to look him square in the face. I wasn't trying to be unfriendly. And on my off Thursday*, I would've chatted with him. But I just needed to be invisible for fifteen glorious minutes.

I did my best to avoid his gaze. I sat down, took out my Hemingway and a pencil, placed my makeshift bookmark on the table (real bookmarks are too cliche), and tried to look busy. Importantly so.

It didn't work.

"So, it's pretty hot out there," he tried.

I looked up, trying to wipe the annoyance off my brow. "Yeah. It is."

"Did you order a hot drink on such a hot day?" he asked.

"Yeah," I said, "It makes me feel more studious." I lifted my Hemingway to show him that I was working, in hopes that he would get the message.

It didn't work.

"Luckily my favorite drink is cold."

"That must be difficult in the winter," I remarked, trying not to add too much sarcasm in my inflection.

"Nah," he said. "I have a favorite hot drink, too, so it's good."

I looked him square in the eye. He wasn't an unattractive man, and he seemed really friendly. I wondered if he thought he could pick up a girl at a coffee house on a Tuesday afternoon. It seemed an unusual tactic, but then I had been out of that game for quite some time. In fact, I'm not sure I had ever truly played that game. I smirked at the thought of him trying to talk to me. If he knew about me - about the fact that I'm married, that I have a small son, that I'm a work-a-holic, a teacher no less - then he wouldn't be so friendly, would he? Or would he?
We were just talking about drinks, after all. It wasn't like he was soliciting anything else. And by anything else, I mean a product of some sort - Tupperware or a donation to his church's building fund. Maybe the fact was he was simply friendly. But that doesn't exist, does it?

My fifteen minutes were up. I had to go. As I packed my bag, I tried to get his attention to say good-bye, though it felt really awkward. I stared at the side of his face trying to get his attention. He did not look up.

He had gotten the hint.


*when, after school, Rich gives me a huge break by allowing me to grade or read or write or breathe while he takes care of Jack

6 comments:

Tammy Howard said...

Ah - awkward social situations. Gotta love it.

Bummer that it stole your limited quiet time!

Amy said...

Just stopping by to say Happy Birthday.

Ginger said...

Thanks, but you're a month early. :) I'm an October baby.

Amy said...

I know I totally keep thinking that it is already October. I am so sorry. It just hit me. Oops..

Helen McGinn said...

I find it hard not to chat back but there have been times when I've had to say "sorry, I need to finish reading this for class" or "I'm picking up my three kids in 15 minutes, I just want to read this before then but it was nice to meet you". That usually scares them faster than a speeding bullet. Not that many guys try to actually get my attention these days...think the last time was 2005.....

Leah said...

Hi. I found your blog through Jen's at Follow my Footsteps. I read what you wrote in her comment section, and loved everything you said, so I wanted to stop over and introduce myself. :-D

I look forward to following your blog. :-D

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another Day at the Coffee House

I had about fifteen minutes before I was due at the sitter's to pick up Jack and resume my role as working mom. Because I allow myself some time to detox - as in to take the toxins out of my body left there by the strain of 150 other parents' kids needing my attention RIGHT NOW - I decided that breathing at the coffee house would be the least I could do. This was, of course,under the condition that I do homework as I breathed.

I ordered my coffee and looked for a seat. The only one available was across from a man who kept trying to catch my attention. You know what it's like - the stare and smirk that begs a person to look him square in the face. I wasn't trying to be unfriendly. And on my off Thursday*, I would've chatted with him. But I just needed to be invisible for fifteen glorious minutes.

I did my best to avoid his gaze. I sat down, took out my Hemingway and a pencil, placed my makeshift bookmark on the table (real bookmarks are too cliche), and tried to look busy. Importantly so.

It didn't work.

"So, it's pretty hot out there," he tried.

I looked up, trying to wipe the annoyance off my brow. "Yeah. It is."

"Did you order a hot drink on such a hot day?" he asked.

"Yeah," I said, "It makes me feel more studious." I lifted my Hemingway to show him that I was working, in hopes that he would get the message.

It didn't work.

"Luckily my favorite drink is cold."

"That must be difficult in the winter," I remarked, trying not to add too much sarcasm in my inflection.

"Nah," he said. "I have a favorite hot drink, too, so it's good."

I looked him square in the eye. He wasn't an unattractive man, and he seemed really friendly. I wondered if he thought he could pick up a girl at a coffee house on a Tuesday afternoon. It seemed an unusual tactic, but then I had been out of that game for quite some time. In fact, I'm not sure I had ever truly played that game. I smirked at the thought of him trying to talk to me. If he knew about me - about the fact that I'm married, that I have a small son, that I'm a work-a-holic, a teacher no less - then he wouldn't be so friendly, would he? Or would he?
We were just talking about drinks, after all. It wasn't like he was soliciting anything else. And by anything else, I mean a product of some sort - Tupperware or a donation to his church's building fund. Maybe the fact was he was simply friendly. But that doesn't exist, does it?

My fifteen minutes were up. I had to go. As I packed my bag, I tried to get his attention to say good-bye, though it felt really awkward. I stared at the side of his face trying to get his attention. He did not look up.

He had gotten the hint.


*when, after school, Rich gives me a huge break by allowing me to grade or read or write or breathe while he takes care of Jack

6 comments:

Tammy Howard said...

Ah - awkward social situations. Gotta love it.

Bummer that it stole your limited quiet time!

Amy said...

Just stopping by to say Happy Birthday.

Ginger said...

Thanks, but you're a month early. :) I'm an October baby.

Amy said...

I know I totally keep thinking that it is already October. I am so sorry. It just hit me. Oops..

Helen McGinn said...

I find it hard not to chat back but there have been times when I've had to say "sorry, I need to finish reading this for class" or "I'm picking up my three kids in 15 minutes, I just want to read this before then but it was nice to meet you". That usually scares them faster than a speeding bullet. Not that many guys try to actually get my attention these days...think the last time was 2005.....

Leah said...

Hi. I found your blog through Jen's at Follow my Footsteps. I read what you wrote in her comment section, and loved everything you said, so I wanted to stop over and introduce myself. :-D

I look forward to following your blog. :-D