Today as school is off and I don't have a meeting at lunch – I meet DH and R and McDonalds for lunch ( only the finest for us J )
As I have eaten lunch before coming ( I have started a diet ) and because R is ravenous and is splitting his time between gobbling McNuggets and fawning over me- I am free to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes - people watching
On our side is a man of no interest – chain-eating his fries and reading his book . I want to read the title of the book as I am wondering if fast paced exciting books would make you speed read whereas slow paced books by contrast would make you savor your food slowly. But I cannot as he has his book flattened – and leaves while I am looking at the table in front.
This table is much more interesting . There is a mum and her two kids. With them is a very very very old man. The mum is overweight and the old man is almost blind as she is always pointing out the kids- Sara and Danny to her. The two kids are overjoyed at the ICE AGE toys in their happy meals and are making much noise
At first I think the man is the grandfather but turns out he is not –
The mom – overweight and dressed in the mum uniform of Capri pants and loose T-shirt – is sooo kind and patient. She is chattering away to the old man loudly "SARA IS LEARNING ITALIAN AT THE LIBRARY. DAN WILL NOT DO IT. HE JUST WANTS TO BE ITALIAN… YOU HEAR WHAT HE JUST SAID ( LAUGHS ) HE SAID HE DOES NOT WANT TO BE ITALIAN…. JUST A REGULAR AMERICAN…HAHAHA"
He misses the joke when he says "Dan – you don't want to be Italian ? Do you want to be Jewish?"
She is unperturbed -she is happy at just doing her bit
The kids are fighting with their ice age toys and the mom is berating them for their fighting and their late bed time last night "THEY WERE ALLOWED TO GO HALF AN HOUR LATE TO THEIR BEDS ONLY IF THEY READ, BUT THEY WATCHED TV" She yells at the old man. I know she is only pretend-angry – she simply wants to give the old man a range of entertainment. So when the comedy failed she is trying some drama.
I see her scratching her head for something else to say " I AM GOING TO THE CAREER CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY TO LOOK FOR A JOB "
I see her making an appointment to get the old man to her house on Saturday not bothered when he suddenly yells at the kids "how can you not know your scriptures?"
One of my colleagues' husband stops by – he is also a stay at home dad. His daughter has a feeding tube and he talks about his theory on why she does not eat.( for she will not eat at all) He is one of the finest parents and I coin a new term for him and tuck it away in my head to tell his wife – my friend and colleague about later – ( "Fother " – a father who is also a mother) . He laughs and says how his daughter are so expressive – they want to marry their parents so they can live together forever!
( my colleague and I have a lot in common – we are both the wives of voluntary SAHD's –we also call ourselves the Smotherers cause we are so effusive in our hugs and kisses!)
After the rapidreader-fryeater leaves, his place is taken by a couple – older couple – who turn the paper in their food tray over and are discussing the sugar content of all the menu options – wife reading the table upside down. I see the old familiarity in their interaction by the way in which the wife is pointing out all the options which he could have that are low in fat but still tasty. He is newly down the path of looking for low fat options ( perhaps doctors orders? ) versus us women – who have been considering sugar and fat all our lives !
An old woman walks in on a walker- with a night dress with hearts on It – helped by her daughter.
The couple reading the fat grams leave and a mum and her daughter take their place. The daughter is wearing a T-shirt with "Princeton" written on it and her mother is urging her to eat all her Mc Nuggets.( she is thin as a rail and has ordered a mere 4 piece that she is carefully picking out the fried cover off of )
I am doing the same with my son ( of course he is only 4 while her daughter is around 20 ). I suppose one never stops worrying about children
I write down a schedule for R saying – I will be going back to office – and he will be going to the zoo. I see R put himself together stoically
He is sad but he will not cry( because I wrote down on his schedule "NO CRYING" ) and looks away when I strap the seat belt on and kiss him telling him about the lovely evening we will have at home today!
" Byduh " ( bye bye ) he says quietly through lowered eyelashes, his face expressionless.
I am on a diet and DH hates it – he is simple guy and thinks I should simply keep buying bigger clothes." If you feel fit and healthy .. there is no harm in being fat" he tells me .
But I am vain and I have told him that its important to me to lose 10 pounds and if he is my friend he will support me.
Still it pains him deeply to see me eat neither a fry nor a nugget.
So he tells me resignedly that he will run to the grocery store and get me some tofu and veggies and Salt – free seasoning for dinner
As I bid my two guys goodbye – I am just suffused with their love and my love for them.
This hour in a fast food restaurant is a little slice of heaven – so full of love is my life and of those that I saw today.
A woman helping an old man from her church have a fun day , a couple trying to take care of each other's health, a daughter helping her mum have some fun even though she has to use a walker, a mother worried about how thin her daughter looks, a husband hunting down some tofu and a loving autistic boy
Love is all around me and life is good !
Your McDonald's is much more interesting than mine. All we have are screaming kids and exasperated Moms. Such are the perils of living in suburbia.
too funny Good fountain - I really do live in a very interesting area - secluded sleepy neighborhood - 10 minutes from everything
I love to people watch, too. It's always so interesting. Good luck on your diet!
I love A's perspective and the fact that he is not bothered by the additional weight. Even more, I love the fact that he surrendered and offered to pick up tofu and veggies because it mattered to YOU. What good boys you have, K. <3
You have the most beautiful outlook on life - I absolutely LOVED this post!
I love how you SEE people. I think it's a gift- really. I guess I'll just have to enjoy your stories because I don't see people like you do! I wish I could.
How interesting! And what a beautiful way of looking at things as usual :).
The love in your family shines through in your posts. I love your phrase, "voluntary SAHD" - that applies to us too and that's a great way to put it :). How cool that one of your co-worker's husbands is too.
oh, and I love writing "no crying" on the schedule too. Sounds like it worked, great idea :).
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