I enjoy dining out alone. It gives me a chance to relax, eat slowly, read a good book and, of course, eavesdrop on conversations at neighboring tables.
Saturday was no exception. A table of six early twenty-something men sat beside me, their ages revealed by their choice of cheap beer and the presence of yellowing college tees often sold in dorms. They at first made me uneasy in the way that boys always have. They totally won't think I'm cute. They're going to talk about me after I leave the table. Are these new jeans too tight?
This group seemed a little different, however. Over pitchers of Coors Light, they talked about travel to Moscow and the books they had read recently. They used SAT words without effort and actually ate salad with their pizza. Apparently, homo sapien males had evolved past a mental age of fifteen and I had not yet been informed. I settled in, more comfortable in my own skin now that I knew they were of an enlightened crowd.
And then the inevitable happened: the conversation turned to chicks.
The Sociable One queried about a hookup the Tall One had brought home earlier in the year. Was she as good looking when he woke up next to her the next morning?
The Tall One said yes. The group liked this very much.
Next Guy in Line had clearly waited for some to tell his story, as he chimed in quickly. "There's a joke at the office that my new girlfriend is into the social security debate because she's literally invested
in the program!"
Acknowledgment quickly came from the males in the form of grunts.
"Oh, dude," the Young One said, his voice full of pity, "how old is
she?" Frosty plastic mugs were suspended mid-air as the boys eagerly awaited his response.
"Thirty-one," he replied, nearly ashamed.
The crowd had a tough time with this one. I sensed that at least two wanted to run for the buffet bar so they wouldn't have to talk about such offenses.
"Well is she at least hot?" the Tall One queried.
"Yeah," offered the Young One, "it's ok to date them that old if they're super hot."
I half expected them to start beating on their chests in agreement.
Next Guy in Line guffawed and assured the others that this new love was indeed hot, and apparently still of child-bearing age.
I tuned things out after then, feeling once again like I was in the lunch room in high school. Did they not see me sitting right next to them? Were all men destined to be simple-minded in the area of relationships with women? And of course, most importantly, are these new jeans too tight?
I sat for some time thinking of something to say to this bold group. And then I decided that bickering with them was something an old lady might have done. So I paid my tab with my platinum credit card, picked up my leather handbag, and moved proudly to the door, this time, without the support of my walker.