Every so often I like to look back on my week and see what things I accomplished, things I didn’t accomplish, humorous things that happened, etc. So this is another “moment of the week”, a sort of brain-dump if you will, of things I think are worth sharing. You’re welcome.
Normally my bagel Friday is rather uneventful. I head to the Panera Bakery-Cafe near my house, and grab a coffee with a whole-grain bagel, toasted, topped with Reduced-Fat Blueberry Cream Cheese. I find a quiet table and relax for a few moments, eating and checking my email.
But today was different. I walk into Panera, and get in line. As I wait, I start scanning the restaurant, reviewing the seating possibilities. As my gaze starts to pull back, I realize this older gentleman sitting at a table is smiling at me. I recognize him. It’s a family friend, Chuck, that I’ve known since I was a kid. I smile back and wave.
Eventually I get to the front of the line, place my order, and head to the coffee station. As I’m getting my coffee just the way I like it (black, with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a splash of half-and-half, in case you’re wondering), I see Chuck smiling at me again, so I smile back, and give him a finger (not THAT finger) saying I’ll be over in a second. He nods. My pager buzzes, telling me my bagel is ready. I go to the counter, grab the plate and head over to talk to Chuck.
As I get increasingly closer to his table, he starts grinning, and then I realize something.
IT’S. NOT. CHUCK.
It’s a complete stranger. I stood there at his table, holding my bagel, in painful silence.
Eventually some awkward conversation ensued.
Pseudo-Chuck: “Good morning.”
Me: “Good morning.” [insert uncomfortable laugh]
Pseudo-Chuck: “Whatcha got there?”
Me: [another umcomfortable laugh] “Oh, just a bagel.”
Pseudo-Chuck: “Looks good.”
Me: “Yup. So, um, okay…I’m going to get started on my bagel then. It’s really callin’ my name, so…” [yet another uncomfortable laugh]
Pseudo-Chuck: “Oh. Okay.”
It was P-A-I-N-F-U-L.
(Side note: I’ve done something similar only one other time that I can remember, years ago at my office. I was heading down a long, narrow hallway towards the restroom when I saw a co-worker I knew coming towards me, at the other end. I yelled out, “I DON’T THINK I’M GOING TO MAKE IT TO THE TOILET IN TIME!!!”, referencing an inside joke we had. I didn’t get a response. Turns out, as we got closer, it wasn’t my co-worker. We passed each other in silence. He’s probably still wondering, to this day, why I loudly announced my need to use the restroom. Once again, awkward.)
Anyway, back to my story…
The conversation ended. Pseudo-Chuck looked around, I looked around. Doo-dee-doo. As I shuffled away and found a table in the far, far back, one thing kept repeating in my head: “Must. Wear. Glasses.”