human's are a curious lot.
This past weekend our daughter was flying home for the weekend to spend some time with her brother's oldest child; our 17 year old grand daughter from Texas, who was spending two weeks with us. We were planning to stay at the cottage by the river rather than at home. My wife suggested that we dine at a restaurant nearer to the cottage so we'd only have a mile to drive after dinner.
Our daughter's flight was arriving at 1900 and she had asked her mom if we would wait for her to arrive so that she could eat dinner with us. The restaurant is 8 or so miles from our house and the airport another 3 miles beyond that. We decided that our granddaughter and I would stop at the restaurant to get a table for four while my wife went on to the airport to meet our daughter.
My wife and I eat at this establishment fairly frequently during the summer season. Even so, often, we do not recognize any of the other patrons in the bar restaurant area on a given evening. this is surprising since this is my home town.
Without reservations, with my statuesque and beautiful 17 year old grand daughter on my arm,we were escorted to a table for four near the piano player who happens to be a long time acquaintance of mine. Though there were only twenty or so diners seated in the room, I recognized easily half of them. Needless to say, but I will, since that is the express reason for this post, we received many curious, and obvious stares. We both were aware of the stir our entrance had caused and chuckled to ourselves as we whispered our speculations as to what people were saying.
Shortly after receiving our drinks another couple came to dine and walked by our table on their way to theirs. I and my family are closely acquainted with this couple. However neither they nor my grand daughter had ever met. Their lack of effusive greeting was evidence of the shock with which they witnessed my "date" and I.
The man in this couple is my age, perhaps a year or two younger, but no more. His wife went to school with my grand daughter's father; my middle child and namesake son. This man had recently left his previous wife ( and close friend of my wife's) to marry this young woman whose parents are close friends of both my wife and I. The irony was palpable.
My grand daughter and I played the roles of "May/ December" couple to the hilt with close whispered conversion while ignoring the furtive glances directed toward our table. Ten minutes later my wife and daughter arrived and came to our table.
I still haven't decided if the hissing sound, like air escaping from a balloon, was the gossip evaporating or gasps of relief that a marriage of 47 years was still intact.
Humans are a curious lot.