Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dinnertime Conversation

Last night my friend and I were having dinner at Café Deluxe prior to the start of a new class on prayer at Temple Micah. All of a sudden as we took our first bites of salad, the man at the next table initiated the following conversation with us:

Man: Excuse me, ladies. Do you believe that President Bush is just an ignorant cowboy?

Me: I don’t even know you. Why would I want to answer that question?

Man: I just think he is being treated so unfairly by the press and he is such a nice guy.

Friend: Do you know him? Are you a personal friend of his?

Man: I know him in a distant way. He once sent me a response signed by him and his wife when I made a contribution to help the people of Afghanistan.

This went on for at least 5 minutes with him defending our fearless leader, whose numbers are tanking in the polls, to the hilt. Meanwhile, I never revealed my political leanings and my friend, who is closely connected to the Democratic Party, was equally mum.

He finally gave up on conversing with us, preferring instead to eavesdrop on our conversation, which of course turned to Blogging. So he got some interesting things to chew on without the mention of any Blog names, thank goodness.

At one point he pulled out a deck of cards, referring to them as Tarot cards, but they looked like the Bicycle variety to me. Just as we were getting ready to pay our check, he put away his cards, put on his hat, and bade us farewell. We both rolled our eyes and decided that this was clearly a troubled person.

I can’t say that I’ve never approached someone at an adjacent table when I was dining alone, but I certainly would have picked a better lead question. Politics is not a safe entree with anyone in this city.

Have you experienced any nosey neighbors recently while eating out?


Blogger Kristin said...

That's just weird.

Three friends and I caught several stares at our Friday night book club. I am certain that we were loud, the starers wanted our table or some combination of the above. We were not that interesting.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Are you joking? Strangers are ALWAYS talking to me, and I talk back. I just assumed that's how it goes.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Velvet said...

I think that guy has read "The Game: The Secret Society of Pick Up Artists." That M.O. sounds like it came right out of that book.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

That is such a NYC story! That stuff used to happen to me all the time.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- Do you actually try to hold your book club meetings in a restaurant?

Cube, Sue -- Don't get me wrong. I think talking to strangers in a restaurant is perfectly acceptable. It's just that there was something a little creepy about this guy's insistance on getting us to make a political statement. Not such a good opener.

Velvet -- My friend and I are exactly the same age, so I'm not sure pick-up was on his radar. He also had long conversations with the waiters, so maybe he was just lonely.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

One of my book clubs meets in restaurants. The others do not...

People always talk to me, too, but not generally when I'm involved in a conversation and they are sitting at tables of their own.

2:10 PM  

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