I had lunch with my mother last week at a casual restaurant with outdoor seating. It was mid-afternoon ... kind of a mixed green salad, chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc kind of lunch. Sun was shining, breeze was cool and patio was packed with power lunchers.
Three women were seated near our table, seemingly enjoying one another’s company. Judging by their features and similar red hair, it appeared to be three generations of women: a grandmother, mother and grown daughter.
I’m not one to listen in on outdoor lunch conversations, but this one was too hard to resist. The entire lunch chatter consisted of the grown 30-something daughter complaining about a recent conflict with a young man. Her voice was loud, demanding the attention of the surrounding power lunch audience.
The temptation was too great. I pulled out a pen, grabbed a ripped envelope from my bag and started jotting down her quotes. After a few minutes, I looked at my own mother, rolled my eyes and giggled.
Can’t this woman not hear herself? It’s times like this I wish I had the nerve to record the verbal nonsense, walk over and say: “Listen to yourself. You sound like a fool. He’s just not that into you.” There’s even a movie that shares the same title.
According to the litany of woes she loudly professed, when she calls him, she hears other women. He works seven days a week and “doesn’t have the time to call or text.” He tells her he’s working, but she sees his online status on Facebook. She went through his phone and Googled all the numbers in his call history. The other women he’s “friends” with are “just dumb.”
While they are together, he texts other women and takes cell calls. The icing on the cake was her inquiry about being his “plus 1” for an upcoming wedding. She was appalled he didn’t want to take her.
Where’s the dignity? I couldn’t help but shout in my head. Why the desperation? Why would any woman even want to fit in this equation?
This scene has followed me around in my head all week. It’s obvious this gentleman of hers isn’t making her a priority and is preoccupied with other interests. While the restaurant patrons and myself listened to her 45-minute pity party, it became crystal clear why he’d rather take calls and texts from other women. I’m convinced it’s a welcome distraction. What he should do is slice it clean, like a paper cut. Like Technicolor mold on cheese.
Equally disturbing in this scenario were the actions of the two other women in her company. The woman who appeared to be her mother only encouraged her reasoning while shedding nonsense on the situation: “Give him his space. I’m sure he cares about you. You’re a catch, sweetie. Maybe he’s just finding himself.”
Finding himself? What kind of mother says this? Maybe she was trying to fill the air with toxic waste, so she could quickly end lunch and get the hell out of there.
All the while, grandmother remained silent in her embroidered blouse and Jackie O sunglasses. She sat back and swirled her wine glass. Even after her third glass of wine, I was surprised with grandma’s mute behavior. Something tells me she and I shared the same sentiments
This damsel in distress seemed like an intelligent young lady, looked put together, was well spoken and nicely groomed. Yet, I continued to question her approach to dating. Why is it that an intelligent young lady, such as herself, continued to rehash and question the obvious? Does she not see it? If her own girlfriend had come to her with the same script, would she object or cushion the fall?
Come on ladies ... we owe it to ourselves as women. Be honest and tell your friends when “he’s just not that in to you.” It will save the outdoor power lunchers, and you, a 45-minute pity party.