It’s cold here in Rhode Island! I know, we’re not alone in this, and I’m not complaining (really) – winters in New England aren’t supposed to be balmy; that’s why the snowbirds head south.
So yesterday my husband and I took his father to the movies. Not a small feat. He’s 81 and tethered to an oxygen tank, and he moves v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. They boys wanted to see Zero Dark Thirty, and while I know it’s a good film, I didn’t want to see the violence. I opted for Silver Linings Playbook, loving Katniss, I mean Jennifer Lawrence, and the very gifted Bradley Cooper. The timing worked well, so off I went in a different direction while the boys made their way to the theatre at the opposite end of the complex.
I’d packed my purse with a bottle of Vitamin Water Zero and a pile of tissues. I’ve been dealing with a cold for the past week, and let me tell you, once you’re on the third box of Puffs Plus With Lotion, it still hurts to blow your nose. But I was prepared. I settled in my seat, way up and on the end, and watched the theatre fill with a lot of older people who may or may not have known what the movie was about. I heard one elderly woman tell her friend how much she liked DeNiro. Okay.
One row in front of me, at the other end, two men found seats. One of them was very loud (until the movie began, thankfully). He said to his friend, “Let’s sit here. No, leave a seat between us. We’re guys, we don’t have to sit so close.” A few minutes later, but still before the feature started, I heard the familiar sound of cellophane tearing, and he
shouted said, “You know, there are a lot of nut cases in this movie.” Then, “Hey, did you just take three Twizzlers? Because I only took two, and we’re sharing these snacks.”
Anyway, the movie is terrific. See it if you haven’t. And the boys said they thought ZDT was excellent, so see that one if you want.
By the time we were all back in the lobby, it was after six, and my father-in-law offered to take us out for a bite. We chose the Texas Roadhouse, because it was close (it was about 9 degrees last night, with wind). The Texas Roadhouse is a lively, spirited place where everyone really seems to enjoy themselves. I’ve never seen a waiter or waitress who didn’t appear to be happy, and management can’t force that stuff. We had a great waiter and more than enough to eat. As I set my fork on my plate and vowed not to have even one more bite, I glanced to my right, just as the very large man at the next table picked up his black linen napkin and used it to blow his nose. I tried not to gape, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME? His very pretty wife (or date) appeared to be unfazed. I turned to my husband, who had missed the spectacle, and whispered. He shook his head with disappointment. My father-in-law looked up and asked, “What’s going on? What did I miss?” and we dismissed it, as we often do. The guy actually did it again, and I expected him to stuff the napkin in his pocket or something. I mean, he wouldn’t leave it on the table, would he? Oh, yes he would. I looked at the woman again and thought about two characters for one of my stories. Inspiration is everywhere.