I’m going to try something a little different today in my quest to put words to virtual paper. I’m going to use a writing prompt from another WordPress blog to spur me to stretching my writing muscles a bit. I’ve been letting them atrophy of late…
Have you ever eavesdropped on a conversation you weren’t supposed to? Tell us about a time when it was impossible not to overhear a conversation between people who didn’t know you were there. What was the conversation about? How did it make you feel?
The wife and I were sitting down to dinner at our new favorite local restaurant. The place, as usual, was busy enough to make us happy that it wasn’t going to dry up and disappear on us, but not so busy that we couldn’t get seated immediately. We settled into a booth, I ordered my obligatory local beer, and we held hands across the table, enjoying each other’s quiet company.
Behind me, at the large corner booth, was a family having a celebratory dinner of some sort. At least, I assumed it was celebratory, as one member of the party had apparently had a fair amount of wine and was discussing the charges for said wine, loudly, with the waiter. Once they worked out the charges, it seemed that the wine-buzzed patron wasn’t done talking for the evening.
As my lady love and I enjoyed our meal, we were regaled with the many political opinions of the well-lubricated man behind me. I won’t get into the actual politics involved, as I don’t really care and I’m sure that you don’t either. All that needs to be said is that my and my wife’s opinions would not have been welcomed at that man’s table–and vice versa.
The thing is, I was taking a perverse pleasure in overhearing the conversation going on behind me. I sat in bemused silence, taking it all in, rolling over the various points in my mind, and enjoyed my moral and logical superiority with my tasty local beer. Smug self-satisfaction and hops FTW. I’m not proud of myself–but there it is.
In the meantime, my wife begged me to converse more with her so she wouldn’t have to hear the man. Of course, I’m not much of a conversationalist on the best of days and definitely don’t do well on command. But, I did the best I could so that we could salvage the a pleasant evening for the both of us.
At any rate, the party behind me eventually broke up and made their way out as we were having our lovely dessert. My wife and I had a couple of good-natured chuckles at the some of the more nonsensical pontifications uttered by the slightly-inebriated pundit and got on with our lives.
But the incident sticks with me because of the difference between my and my wife’s reactions. She was obviously put out by the loudness (and rudeness) of what was being said. She wanted to avoid it because it made her uncomfortable. A very sensible reaction. I, on the other hand, was mostly amused by it. And, as I said, more than a little self-satisfied.
Make of that what you will. And feel free to judge me, quietly, with self-satisfaction. We’re only human.