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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The things you overhear.

I'm nosy. I always wanted to write an advice column, just so I could read people's deepest, darkest secrets. Not that I would have answers for them, but is the advice ever all that great? I'm sure I could come up with something. I can be very bossy if the situation demands it. But I digress.

I'm nosy and so is my husband, so we're all about eavesdropping in public, especially since, after a billion years of marriage, we have very little to say to each other. Good thing he never listens to me, because I've been recycling the same five stories for years now.

"Has a well-built black man been in here tonight?"

That's what I heard the other night, sitting at a bar, sipping my Schug Chardonnay and waiting for friends. I can't help it. I had to contemplate the possibilities. Was he looking for any old well-built black man or a specific one? Was it a blind date*? Was it his long lost son? An old army buddy? His trainer? What kind of hits would I get on my blog if I used the phrase "well-built black man" repeatedly? I also contemplated the fact that he said "black." One of my black friends** once told me they found it highly amusing when a white person tried to describe a black person to another black person. You guessed it: they'll mention anything but his race.

"You know that guy, Steve? He has really, really curly hair, like, really curly and...um...he's really tan..."

She went on, and it was very funny, but I'm not going to type it out here. The guy in the bar was an older white guy in camping shorts (you know, the ones with all the pockets that campy type of people wear). A few minutes later, I saw him on the sidewalk, talking to a black man. I couldn't say if he was well-built or not, because I was looking through a window and it was hard to see, but I hope he found what he was looking for.

The best conversation I ever overheard was a short one just outside the door of a McDonald's in Quantico, Virginia.

Girl Number 1: You know Mandy?

Guy: Glass Eye Mandy?

Girl 1: Yeah. That's who I'm supposed to fight tonight.

Naming a character "Girl 1" implies there was a "Girl 2," which there was, but she had nothing to say. Too busy smoking, I guess. The three kids were wearing McDonald's uniforms, obviously on a break. Or not. They seemed so calm. I can't imagine knowing someone called Glass Eye Mandy, much less scheduling a fight with her. I'm pretty sure I would lose a fight with Glass Eye Mandy. I bet she's pretty rough. The kids were so calm. I'd be all,

"OH MY G-D, Y'ALL! PLEASE GET GLASS EYE MANDY OFF OF ME! PLEASE LET ME HIDE AT YOUR PLACE! PLEASE! I'M SCARED OF GLASS EYE MANDY!"

And I'd be running away while I begged for mercy. Actually, it wouldn't even get to that point, because if I managed to come in contact with and offend Glass Eye Mandy, I would apologize so fast your head would spin. And buy her a cheeseburger. And a Coke. Probably even a whole value meal.

Namasté, y'all!

* Full disclosure: I was sort of on a blind date myself. I had put out one of those internet calls to my blog readers, Twitter friends and Facebook friends, wondering if anyone wanted to meet for a drink. Someone I only know from the internet answered. We actually know a lot of the same people, so it's strange we haven't met already. She was not a big, hairy man in disguise and I was glad to finally meet her. But don't tell my mom I made a friend from the internet, m'kay? And when I put out those random calls for a drink, don't be shy, ok? We had fun!

** Yeah, yeah, I know.

7 comments:

Don Mills Diva said...

Love this!

I am such an eavesdropper! It drives my husband crazy - sometimes when we're out at dinner I have to tell him to pipe down because I can't hear what the people at the next table are saying.

Lynn said...

The funniest thing I've heard lately:

Central Square (cambridge, ma)
"Girl! What's your titty doing hanging out?"

And it totally was.

*~Dani~* said...

I am an eavesdropper too. Not sure if it bothers my husband or not, but I do know that when we go to a baseball game together, we come back with two different views. He is full of scores and statistics and I know everything about everyone around us and their relationships to each other.

Annie said...

Don Mills Diva and Dani - it is amazing how our priorities are so different from theirs, isn't it?

Lynn I just wet my pants. That comment is very, very funny.

Best!
Annie

Suz said...

My ex-husband scolded me for meeting you sight unseen! I told him I had good evidence that you were a real, non-axe-murderer, person!

And, so, so glad that despite my unemployment weight gain, I didn't appear to be a big, hairy man in disguise!

See you again very soon!

Jonny's Mommy said...

I do this too. Oh the things you'll hear...very interesting indeed. Glass eye Mandy. Eeeks. Kind of scary. New a woman who had a glass eye...mother of a friend. She used to take it out to show all of us and roll it around in her mouth.

Ok. Have to go throw up now.

Anonymous said...

This made me think of a website that I loved. I have not been there in awhile, but I think you'll love it. People post snippets of conversations they overhear:

http://www.overheardintheoffice.com/pages/mostpopular.html

and

http://www.overheardinnewyork.com/