Every now and then, I’m in some public venue and become witness to some poor bastard’s domestic hell as it plays out in front of me and everyone else within earshot.
In the past, it’s been both wife and kids screaming and nagging dad that he’s buying the WRONG BRAND, DAMMIT! at Target. Or perhaps the “Kill me, now!” face of some poor schmuck trying to control a genuine sue-that-condom-company brood of uncontrollable little bastards at a BBQ restaurant while his food got cold.
Today it was a mommy melt-down at a local deli.
A local deli? In Santa Clarita? The very heart of Goyville?
Yeah, there’s a local deli with two locations. Dink’s Deli. Their bagels have always been decent, their sandwiches okay, and since they came under new management some time back, their service and general demeanor have improved somewhat.
When I’m in the mood for some serious Jew-deli-ing, I’ll trek to Brent’s, but today I had to grocery shop as well.
And it’s Saturday. I felt like some time out after going back to work this week, and after spending what seemed like too much time online at home (ahem) drumming up interest in my new book. (Reviews will be forthcoming on the Amazon page, but it’s taking FOREVER).
So I figured I’d have me a sammich while I did the crossword and took my time before hitting the supermarket. And as a bonus, they had the Blues/Wild game on with the sound off.
Then they entered, took the tables one down from mine. First mom, then the two kids. They took their places while dad ordered at the counter.
Then dad showed up at the table and the arguments started. Over nothing. Absolutely nothing. Over which kid would sit where, over which table to sit at, that sort of thing. It wasn’t the kids whining and bitching about it either, it was mom. Mom’s voice got louder, dad kept playing peacemaker inbetween guilting his kids over getting mom angry. One kid storms out. Other kid follows. Mom starts in on dad. Dad asks why this happens every weekend anytime they go someplace. Mom snaps that the kids are mad at dad and that “everyone is looking at us!”
Naw, I’m just listening. Carry on.
Kids return. Then mom storms out, says she’s going to the car. Dad doesn’t go after her. The kids ask dad where mom is going. He says they’ll get her later. The kids follow outside, but return a moment later when the food arrives.
I kept thinking “Every weekend this guy deals with this? Jesus…”
It could not have been over where the kids were sitting, which was what it sounded like from the arguments going back and forth. Clearly, these people walked into the deli with the baggage of numerous previous arguments, or just plain bottled up anger/spite/whatever over something much bigger.
I couldn’t deduce any piece of a backstory from any possible clue. And to be honest, I didn’t really want to.
I’d like to think mom & dad were both having an affair with the same person. It’s the romantic in me.
Anyway, they finished eating and left. Mom never returned, so she either sat in a hot car in today’s near 100 degree heat, or she wandered somewhere else and maxed out the ol’ credit card.
I heard no gunshots.
So what does it all mean? Well, I’d like to thank them all for making me feel so good about not being married. That goes for the people in Target, at the BBQ place, and the countless other times I got to be juxtaposed with someone else’s tedious domestic squabbling. It’s greatly outnumbered the times I witnessed someone’s marriage and/or family and fell into a deep depression because I felt like I was missing out on life by not having the same set up. It’s easy to outnumber zero.
I leisurely finished the crossword & my sandwich, and got in my car.
I had to go to the supermarket, but on a whim stopped at an estate sale to see if anything good was left. Nope. But it turned out that the estate was of someone who had owned race horses. Some memorabilia remained, but they told me the family had already claimed most of the good stuff, so I came up empty there. And all the books were lesser celebrity bios and chicklit. Meh. So I drove my car to the supermarket, bought whatever the hell I wanted without someone telling me otherwise, and came home to watch sports and pamper the cat.
I’ll cook up some wonderful pasta calamari later. Maybe I’ll read a little. Maybe I’ll work more on the beginning outline for Wagstaff book 3.
Sound boring? Beats hell out of what that dad deals with.
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