Tuesday, February 24, 2009

55/365 Lunch and a Show

Some things about traveling will not be missed: hotels of questionable integrity and cleanliness, night-time drives by the light of the navigator, the TSA, and regional jets, to name a few. But one thing I will miss greatly are the opportunities for prime people-watching in the airport. At 1:30 this afternoon I arrived in Atlanta with an empty tummy and a 2 hour layover. The food court on concourse A met both needs. I found some chow, the veggie plate from Paschal's, a tribute to the power of pork fat to transform vegetables into something from heaven. But even better than the food was the entertainment.

Eating alone at my table for two, I had a clear view of the South American foursome across the aisle. The men sat at the table, talking loudly and sending the women off to fetch a meal of several courses, each from a separate venue. Eventually they settled down, but for one woman. She was a high-maintenance type, dressed all in form-fitting black knit. Her boots were high on top and pointy on the bottom. On her right shoulder she wore a folded scarf, warming nothing, just an accessory to break up the monochromatic get-up. While the others at her table feasted she was busy. Again and again the tickets came out of the Gucci bag, were checked, and were then replaced. She chatted incessantly, gesturing with long-nailed, bejeweled fingers. Boy, I thought, I'm glad I don't even try to work that hard at being female.

A few minutes later an older couple made their way to the empty table to my right. They wore travel casual, he in flannel and denim, she in terrycloth and fleece. Once the luggage was tucked under the table the wife went to the counter for the food. While the husband waited he unfolded his handkerchief and positioned it across his chest and belly. The wife returned with two heaping trays, put on her reading glasses, and they ate without a word. Sometimes her fork wandered to his plate, sometimes his to hers. Funny, but I don't recall them having a conversation to decide what food to purchase. Either she knew what he wanted or he doesn't get a vote. Either way, I was impressed. Though I don't ever wish for a marriage so long that it's old, that we have nothing to say, that a food court with a dozen choices doesn't even inspire speculation.

Sure, I'm doing a bit of filling in and more than a little stereotyping, but I find myself interested in "types" of people. Yet even with years of intense study I haven't figured out which type I am.


EJG said...

I loved your detailed "snapshot". I felt like I was there. And while the dinner I ate from our fridge was yummy, I could have gone for some of those green beans soaked in butter and pork fat.

MJ said...

You defy type-casting. Your plate at Paschal's brings me back to the same place but with a toddling LMJ.

BJNR said...

Loved this post. You always wonder if you can figure out the whole story. I always try to create a life behind people: Why did the "lady" act so animated? Why was the couple so quiet? What do they know that I don't? One can create quite a story.....