Table for Two


Ever notice how obnoxious people do not know that they are being obnoxious? The other evening my honey and I were dining at this great little Italian place we know about. Good food, good service, reasonable prices, you know the sort of place.

We were quietly sipping a glass of wine while we waited for the food. Next to us was a large family celebrating a birthday or some sort of special occasion.

Problem with great little Italian places is when they put you at a table for two right next to a family of eight with all their children. We are used to it. Some of them are actually cute, crunching up their food, eating with their hands and throwing food on the floor.

I don’t know why this family brought kids to a popular dining spot for a birthday celebration instead of taking them to McDonalds where kids would much rather go. But anyhow, there they were. In this case, the kids were being pretty good, for kids. It was one of the adults who was misbehaving, talking loudly, asserting opinions and issuing orders.

“Good, grief, doesn’t that guy realize how loud he is?” Obviously, not. As I said, obnoxious people are oblivious to the fact that they are obnoxious. I could not really figure out what he was doing in a nice restaurant anyhow. He did not seem like the type. He was more of a redneck sort of person.

“Bubba must be tired of the Catfish House,” I said sarcastically. “Wonder why he didn’t go next door? They have barbeque ribs over there.”

Bubba proceeded to loudly assist the children, playing with their toys, blissfully unaware that he was spoiling the dining of all around him. Perhaps he was accustomed to dining at places where they have wooden puzzles on the tables to entertain the customers. Or perhaps the children’s toys simply intellectually challenged him.

By then, we were giggling as the absurdity came into perspective. “Maybe he will be gone by the time the food arrives,” I ventured.

I hate to admit it, but normally these loud people are women, ranting loudly so that all around can hear their conversation, as if everyone in the restaurant is interested. Invariably, if you turn to look, the woman will be wearing a red dress.

Manic personality types, we used to call them in psychology 101. The lady in the red dress talking loudly to call attention to herself and imagining that other people are really interested in overhearing her conversation about her love life, marital problems, financial endeavors or whatever other mundane personal topic she has decided to air.

About that time, the desserts arrived next door. Bubba remember that he had to pick up Shelby and left. We still don’t know who Shelby is, but I’m very grateful to her for needing a ride. Bubba managed to exit noisily just before the check arrived leaving the others in his party to take care of the essentials. Perfect timing.

“Bye, Bubba,” I whispered, as he left the room.

“Fresh ground pepper for your salads?” asked the waiter. Our food had arrived. Perfect timing again.

Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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9 Responses to Table for Two

  1. stomperdad says:

    I’m always horrified when it’s my kids who are being the obnoxious ones in a restaurant. I know they’re just kids, but still. We’ve taught them better than that. So when it’s an adult who is being obnoxious it’s even worse. Maybe he was “that uncle” we all have. Would explain how he skipped out on the bill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheila Moss says:

      I raised three and have had my share of being mortified. I remember once in particular when I checked out of a drug store with Pampers, Aspirin, and a toddler throwing a tantrum. I understand when it is a child acting out — but adults? No.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We, with another couple, were seated right next to 4 women who were obviously (I hope) celebrating something. It was so loud we couldn’t hear each other. One of our party (not me!) went to explain to them that they were very loud. I could hear him and he was nice but it threw a wet blanket over their night and they left. Then our salads come. Perfect timing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These scenes are unfortunately not restricted to restaurants alone – office, airports & flights, doctor’s office – you name it, these people are there!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jad says:

    Damn, I love wearing red dresses…doh, hope I am not like that!!

    Liked by 1 person

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