Oh hello, friends.
Many out there are exhibiting very bad behavior. Have you noticed?
It has been my observation in recent weeks that tempers are as flared as the bottom of my high school jeans.
It is hot, hot, hot out there. Like surface-of-the-sun hot (again like my low-rise, bell bottom, teenage jeans!)
I’m making light of it because, really, what else can we do? I mean besides be kind, chant, eat, pray, love… and vote.
Other times you just have to ignore it. Pay it no mind. Diffuse it by your lack of attention to it.
Case in point:
Fratty, I’m calling him that because that is the nicest thing I could think of to call him. The same goes for his friend/date who we will call…Bougie.
Listen, I’m not usually a name caller, you know that. But that day not only did I have to bite my tongue in order not to add fuel to the catastrofuck, I literally shoved my fist in my mouth to keep from going full Tourettes on these two.
Fratty and Bougie arrived together. I’m guessing to have some food, although, starting a street brawl may have been on their agenda too, judging by their horrible dispositions.
Fratty, who’s real name was Todd, (too pedestrian for this story), looked like he just got off the train to Hogwarts. Or Harvard. In the 1950’s. Think Dead Poet’s Society.
Like I always say, ‘there’s nothing more dangerous than a frat boy looking for a fight.’
All of that testosterone and repressed sexuality are shaken up to form a cocktail of rude insecurity, stirred with entitlement.
He waited while Bougie decided to redecorate the cafe, moving tables and chairs into the aisle and then dragging them over to a large bank of windows for a better view.
Wish I would have though to do it.
Just one small caveat. They were blocking a door.
“I’m sorry you can’t sit there”, said the waitress with a funny look on her face as she realized it was no mistake, they were seriously sitting in front of a door to the patio.
“I’m sorry you’re ugly”, remarked Fratty, his face buried in the menu. Bougie didn’t hear him, she was talking loudly on her phone as she pulled bag after tiny yellow bag of Splenda out of her Louis Vuitton purse.
“Oh waitress!” she bellowed, “Ice tea! Pronto! Por favor!”
I have no idea why she tacked the Spanish onto her demand—it felt like an insult.
My friend and I just looked at each other in awe. Then things got worse.
Bougie threw off her skin-tone, five-inch high, patent leather pumps and put her feet up on the table, oblivious, while her fingers texted so fast they were invisible to the naked eye.
An older gentleman walked by and spoke in a low voice “Young lady, you should never put your feet where you eat”.
“Chill out, grandpa” snarked Fratty.
“Yeah, mind your own Goddamn business old man!” and with that Bougie lifted her designer skirt and plopped her bare ass on the table.
You could hear a pin drop.
The old mad shuffled away, appalled.
I was appalled. I think we all were. (I have to say, sadly, that feeling appalled by what someone says or does is feeling more and more familiar these days.)
Several people were standing on the other side of the glass door to the patio trying to figure out why a table and two people were blocking their exit.
Fratty and Bougie pretended not to notice.
The stranded people knocked and yelled. Then they found another way out.
People started to get up and leave.
I leaned forward, “Let’s get outta here”, I whispered to my friend. Right that minute our food showed up. The waitresses gaze was glued to the shitshow next to the patio, her eyes filled with fear. “We called the manager”, she confided.
Fratty started to yell, startling everyone within earshot. “Where’s our fucking waiter? I want a beer! The service here SUCKS!”
A mother gathered her two grade-school age kids and started toward the exit but was forced to run/walk past the shitshow on her way out.
“BOO!!!” yelled Bougie at the top of her lungs, causing one of the kids to jump out of her skin.
“Should I call the police?”, the terrified waitress asked us like we would know the right answer.
I’m telling you, it’s the gray hair. Apparently, gray hair denotes wisdom—I’ll have to get on that.
I’m not sure how wise I looked wth my own fist shoved halfway down my throat to keep myself quiet. I knew it was no use confronting them. It would only escalate things.
A couple of guys in their early thirties went over and said something on their way out. Fratty cursed a blue streak and Bougie threw her shoe at the guys as they left.
Those two guys could have beaten Fratty to a pulp. I was secretly hoping they would. The restraint they showed was remarkable.
Everyone who decided to stay eventually blocked them out like you do when a child throws a tantrum on an airplane.
Soon, the shock value wore off and nobody was paying them any attention.
When the manager showed up, a dignified man in his mid-to-late fifties, he unceremoniously kicked them out.
He pulled the table away from the door, flatware jumping in every direction. He propped the door open, pulled Bougie’s chair out from under her all the while calmly telling them to leave.
Refusing them service.
“But we’re hungry! We want some food!”, whined Bougie.
“I’m going to fuck you on Yelp”, screamed Fratty. (That’s why I hate Yelp reviews.)
“You didn’t come here to eat. You came in here to make trouble. Get out!”
With that, the entire room erupted into applause and with a minimum of fanfare… the shitshow left the building.
I think these days we’re all learning to navigate a “new normal”. Tempers are frayed. Frustration reigns supreme. People are killing each other for no reason (not that there was ever a good enough reason for me), so we have to exercise restraint.
Stay peaceful amid the chaos.
Okay? (I’m talking to myself here as much as you guys!)