I'm sitting in Barnes & Noble (like, right now!), where I fully intended to work on some story revisions. I ordered a Diet Pepsi and took a seat near a group of about ten men deep in a quiet discussion about the bible, an old woman reading a book about bamboo, one young guy writing in his address book, and one late twenty-something man of (as far as I can discern) Middle Eastern origin wearing a rather smart royal blue track jacket, drinking tea and working on his Mac. He smiled at me when I pulled out mine because my screen is bigger. Hahahahahaha!
Anyways, about 10 minutes into my revisions, a pleasant looking white woman approaches Mr. Small Screen and says, "Do you come here every day?!" Her delivery is such that it's clear they know each other from somewhere.
"Oh, well, no. I'm working on some projects."
"Oh. Because it seems like you come here every day."
"I'm taking some classes, so I have projects." He is resolutely polite, but clearly wants to be left alone. Apparently this woman's female intuition is in need of a tune-up, though, because she just keeps standing over him.
For reasons I cannot fathom, I'm so incredibly embarrassed on her behalf. But she is amazing. Why is she amazing? Because her oppressive presence finally forces Mr. Small Screen to say, "Well, won't you sit down?"
And she says, "Oh. Oh, well, sure." Like she's completely surprised. Like she'd really rather not, but since he asked, well, okay.
So she sits down and they exchange about six lines of stilted and awkward dialogue, in which she asks questions and he answers in monosyllables. Then she says, "Do you want something? I'm going to get a coffee." He answers in the negative. As soon as she leaves, he bends over his laptop and gets back to work.
When she returns and reclaims her seat, he says, "I'm sorry, what's your name again?"
First, Diet Pepsi almost comes spurting out of my nose. Second, I'm thinking oh no, you did not, you did not, you did not...
She says, "Karen. My name is Karen." She is pouting now. She is quite hurt.
And I don't know why, but I had to blog this. Okay, back to work...