It happens on occasion that Steve and I both get out of work a little early on a Friday. When this happens we usually have about one free hour before we need to pick up the kids from daycare. And what we’ve been doing with that precious hour is sliding into the pub down the street from our house for a nice cold pint. It gives us a little time to just be together, unwind from the week and relax a little before the weekend craziness starts.
This past Friday at 3:05pm we found ourselves sidled up in a booth, enjoying a frosty mug of pale ale and a plate of yam fries. It was (it always is) quite enjoyable.
I noticed a table of three women just a few tables away from us. One woman kept looking my way. I often get “looks” because of my sleeve tattoo so at first I didn’t pay too much attention to her. But she kept looking at me. And you know when you’re being stared at it’s hard to not keep looking in that person’s direction.
Finally these women paid their bill and stood up to leave. The one woman continued to look at me and make eye contact.
Then she waved at me.
So, I waved back. And I smiled at her too. No, I didn’t know her but I was in my happy place and I didn’t want to be rude. What the hell, a friendly wave to a stranger.
Then she said, “Hello”.
So I said, “Hello!”
I didn’t really even think much of it at this point. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve met up with my fair share of crazies in my life. Maybe she was just drunk and thought I was someone she knew. And she was being friendly, after all. It's nice to be friendly to people.
She continued staring at me and said, “How are you doing?”
I blurted back, “Oh I'm doing alright! And yourself?”
It was then that I heard a voice from behind me saying, “We’re doing well. It’s nice to see you.”
Then she said, “Do you still have the furniture store?”
I turned around to see a couple sitting behind me – who apparently own a furniture store. Whom this “crazy” woman knows, and to whom she had been directing her smiles, waves, hellos, and hi-how-are-ya’s…
At that point I realized, I was the crazy.
All along she was communicating with the person behind me, not me.
I started laughing. Oh shit, that is funny! But Steve wasn’t laughing. He was clearly embarrassed of me. He kept looking straight ahead - pretending to care about the women's tennis match on the big screen TV.
I poked him and hissed, “I thought she was talking to me!!! Did you know she was talking to them??” He just took a big slug off his beer and pretended he couldn’t hear me. He was doing his typical routine when he experiences something embarrassing or uncomfortable… he pretends it didn’t happen and carries on accordingly.
Desperate to let these people know that I was not crazy, I turned to the couple behind me and smiled and kind of laughed.
They blinked and ignored me.
Which made me look even more crazy.
Can nobody see the fucking humor in this! I made an ass of myself! And laughing at myself ALONE does NOT make it feel any better!
Hey! I am the crazy people magnet! I am not the crazy people!!!
Unfortunately though, I just had to ride out the uncomfortable (and quiet) situation until we paid the bill and left - not making eye contact with anyone and staring at the floor all the way out the door.
Pretty sure I'm going to be too busy at work this Friday to make our pint date this week.