Charlie took the night off last Saturday, mostly because we’d been planning on going to my 15-year high school reunion, but which we didn’t end up attending because it was at a bar on the far, far west side, and I knew I couldn’t handle the smoke. It’s been hard enough quitting smoking, I wasn’t going to put myself in the middle of temptation, or ask Charlie to go from working in a bar to standing in one. And if I couldn’t drink, he sure as hell wasn’t going to!
Honestly, I wasn’t sure if there were going to be that many people there. And if there were, whether or not I wanted to hang out with them. I’d really hoped we would have been able to do something slightly “classier” this year. But given the town where I attended high school, I guess it made me seem stuck up to want to have anything other than meatballs and country music.
So we actually just went to bed early, then got up early on Sunday for coffee and breakfast. We went to this cheap, greasy spoon that’s just northeast of here. It was early enough that none of the hung-over 20-somethings were in there drinking loads of coffee, but it was full of creepy old people who apparently hang out there all the time.
A group of them was having a conversation about the election, and said some things that made my hackles go up. I wasn’t surprised at what they said, but the fact that they would just openly spout off offensive things in mixed company. It must be awesome being old and saying whatever you want, when you want. When I used to work in social services, we would take Julie to Hardee’s after her weekly stay at her mom’s for biscuits and gravy. It was always early enough in the morning that there would be scores of scowling septuagenarians. One day a few of them made remarks about “certain people” and their “disgusting lifestyle,” assuming that Kate and I were lesbians and that Julie was our daughter. We got that a lot.
Sunday morning I was a little irritated to have one of the older men standing right behind me while I was trying to eat. Apparently, he wanted to sit at our table and thought we should eat faster. The elderly couple he was talking to was batshit crazy. The woman kept asking her husband and their hovering friend why, if she’d set the clocks in the house back an hour before going to bed, and she didn’t set her watch back, why was her watch an hour ahead this morning? Think about that one for a minute.
As she kept repeating her question, I wondered if she didn’t think she’d come up with a really clever riddle. I didn’t understand why she kept saying it, or why no one would just tell the woman. Then she said “Oh, wait. I just answered my own question. I didn’t set my watch.”
She and her husband were also talking about Saturday Night Live from the previous evening. As you may or may not know, John McCain was a guest star and did a mildly amusing bit about buying time on the QVC network because that was all he could afford. The crazy old wife said, “Oh, Sarah Palin was on there, too.” Her husband said, “Yes, she did a really good job.”
If you didn’t watch the show, Sarah Palin was not on it. It was Tina Fey.