Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cupid Missed His Train to Georgia...

So, here's the scene...upscale restaurant in an upscale Atlanta suburb. It's Valentine's Day, early evening. The place is packed...mostly couples, a few stray pairs of dateless males and females, and one or two guys like me who were eating or drinking alone. I manage to get the last seat at the large circular bar, and am even lucky enough to have both a perfect view of the dining areas and a small lamp in front of me that threw off enough light to read by.

I order a glass of wine and alternate between reading my book and evesdropping, er, observing the crowd. Focusing my attention on the couples, I was a bit shocked. The vast majority of the couples weren't even close to connecting with each other. Guys were watching the basketball game on the tv screens hanging at various locations in the restaurant; some women were reading, some were just eating or drinking; and a few were trying, with mixed success, to converse with their dinner partners.

The woman sitting next to me was talkin' at...not with...her husband, explaining to him the finer points of the rhumba. I found out later they had been taking dancing lessons. Between feigning interest with occasional "uh huh's" and nods, the husband was more focused on sneaking peeks at the game. Figuring to get his attention, she finally hopped off the bar stool and began to demonstrate the dance steps. That seemed to held his attention for a full five seconds. Before I forget, it did look like she'd had a drink or three by this time.

I couldn't resist, so I started up a conversation with her while hubby went back to enjoying his game. Apparently enjoying my undivided attention, she repeated the rhumba demo, and switched to a salsa. I didn't want her to think I was a real wise ass, but, being the wise ass that I sometimes am...after I complimented her on her lovely dance I couldn't resist telling her that what she was doing was actually a mambo step...and that that was ok because it is commonly used in salsa as well. And no, I didn't just make that up...and yes, I know how to dance. Ok, ok, not really, but I am taking lessions. Oops, I'm maybe that will be fodder for a future post.

Anyway, that got her full attention. She slid her barstool closer to mine and hopped back on. I guess it was something I said. And if you're wondering...yes, she was attractive...I can say this truthfully because I was still nursing my first drink. Hubby was engrossed in his game, so she and I had a nice conversation about dancing and other things (I quickly switched off the dancing topic because the extent of my knowledge about it was exhausted in less than five minutes.)

Eventually this small black thing setting on the bar between her and her husband starts blinking and buzzing and doing its own little thing. Their table was finally ready. Hubby jumps up and reaches for his wallet to close out the bar tab, but she stops him and says she'd prefer if they just ate at the bar. He gives me a glance and then engages in a little tete a tete with the wife, that became a bit animated in a not so good way. The only dialogue I was able to catch was "we waited a god damned hour for this table...". They ultimately decided to take the table, and I got a smile and a "thanks for the company" from her and a potentially dirty look from him. Gee, ya' think he'd have appreciated me getting him off the hook so he could watch the game. I did notice that as they were seated he was doing all the talking. Hey, I can't help it if I'm such a nice guy...the lady at least deserves a nice conversation on Valentine's Day.

Being so engrossed in that conversation, I missed all but the end of the what was going on between a young couple that was sitting a little further down the bar. They had finished their meal and were arguing about who should pay...and about three minutes after I heard one of them say "cheap bastard" the guy gets up and leaves without her. In case anyone is, I did not slide on over... Saving one damsel a day is about Badabing's limit. Besides, she was way too young for me :-)

I guess cupid missed his train to Georgia that day.

Badaboom Badabing...


kenju said...

I know the feeling of not connecting with your spouse/significant other at dinner, and I see it all the time with other couples. It's sad when you get to the point of not having anything to say to each other.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Carol and I went to Red Lobster last night. Good meal. But the fun was in watching the others. Less than fun was the couple in the booth right behind me. Loud, frequent cell phone calls. Several hard bangs on the bench I was sitting on (there was a tall backrest between us, but the bench was all one piece of furniture.) At one point they were talking so loudly to each other that Carol couldn't hear me talking to her.

People-watching can definitely be interesting. Makes me wonder what people think when they see US eating and talking.

Oh, and I wouldn't know a samba if it stepped on me, so I'm jealous.