Tuesday, February 11, 2014

                                      STRAPPED FOR SPACE

     Yesterday, we were seated  comfortably at a small lunch table on the patio of an historic home in Key West, Florida. We carefully chose this table so as not to be too close to other diners and to have just the right exposure to the afternoon sun. We were enjoying watching the numerous personalities parading before us on Duval Street when a couple sat not more than six inches behind Mr. Wonderful. Their table was uneven, so while he and I were attempting to ignore them and continue our observations. the two of them were scrambling around on the cobblestones to try to steady their table. The man kept bumping into Mr. Wonderful’s chair, and the woman was down on her hands and knees attempting to put part of her purse strap under the table leg. When I say this, it sounds very funny, but it wasn’t, and I could hear molar clenching. Fearing a scene, I said, “Maybe we need to move our table back a little.” Apparently, the gentleman heard me. Rather than apologizing for invading our personal space, he rolled his eyes at us evidently annoyed that we didn’t join him in the gravel. Finally, they steadied the table, and his wife sat next to him instead of opposite from him. This made it look like they were lined up single file behind Mr. Wonderful who was now clearly aggravated.Brow furrowed, he crunched hard on his crostini. Desperate to keep these strangers from ruining our lovely lunch, I thought of only one quick fix: I gave him all my capers and offered to pay the bill. He brightened up immediately. This led me to wonder if he hadn’t orchestrated this whole incident just to remind me that it was my turn to cough up the cash. Naw. Mr. Wonderful wouldn’t do that. Or would he?