02 March 2010

Coffee Shop Musings

I'm sitting here at Panera, writing study guides on "compassion and purity in Jane Eyre" and "how to outline persuasive essays." Having a blast-- okay, yes, I'm a dork. So?

There are two adorable old ladies sitting in the booth across from me, drinking iced tea and swapping knitting patterns (and doctor stories). Also a great gray-haired couple a few booths over, sharing one another's soup and looking thoroughly pleased to be together after however-many years. Also a sharply dressed gentleman all by himself-- I hope he has a wife and several rambunctious children at home. He looks very nice, with a mischeivous sense of humor, the sort who is extremely dignified in the office all day and then wrestles with his little boys all evening.

Now it's 3:00 and a new crowd has come in. Well, the knitting ladies are still here, but the late-lunchers have arrived. Across the way sits a smitten pair of high school lovebirds, she with heavy duty makeup and glossy blonde-streaked hair, he obviously an athlete-- I'm thinking track and field-- but too self-consciously cool to be a "jock," in his trendy plaid and precisely tousled brown curls. (It's amazing how much work it takes to look casual. Just as much effort as looking formal.) Studying the soda machine is a tall and very pregnant young woman, who has managed to look stylish despite having a stomach big enough for three watermelons. I suppose it helps that she's six feet tall with supermodel legs. Bless her heart, I hope that baby comes out soon...

Three nineteen-year-olds in another booth are talking about "like, what's new?" and comparing "what's happened since we graduated" stories. I know their age because they decided to figure out who was the youngest, and discovered that the guy is, giving rise to teasing from the two girls. Anyway, one girl is married and has a two-year-old daughter. The other keeps reminiscing about the good old days of high school (as if she didn't just leave those "good old days" eight months ago). It's kind of pathetic. And then the guy's been dating the same girl for four years and is quite proud of it, but apparently no marriage plans. "I don't want to grow up and support myself," are the exact words. He is currently proclaiming himself "totally unmotivated" for college, and the girls sympathetically say, "Oh gosh, yeah."

What a life.

I realized, listening to this trio, that I'm an old married person in their eyes. That's funny.

All for now. I'm packing up my computer and heading out-- enough observations and study guides both.

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