Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's Not Always About Youth

I had another coffee shop encounter today. No, it wasn't someone I was interested in.

The coffee shop was teeming with people; it was just after noon and people were streaming in for lunch. When I went to sit, the only available seat was an armchair next to a couch. I usually don't sit in that area because it's better suited for larger groups of people. However, with no other seating option, I took up the group area.

I was doing the sudoku in the local paper and studying Karl Marx when a woman approached me. By the looks of it, she was nearing the end of her 50's chapter in life, was full of life, and quite healthy. She asked if she could sit on the couch across from me. "Absolutely" I said, "Not a problem!"

A few minutes later, she shivered and said, "There must be an air conditioner above me because all this cold air is blowing on me." I, always endeavoring to do the gentlemanly thing, offered to switch seats with her, to which she eagerly agreed.

We talked a little bit after that switch about how she was nervous for her daughter. Apparently her daughter was getting eye surgery today, and was, in fact, in the operating room as we spoke. She told me a little bit about the operation and how the technology is supposed to be very good these days. Then her husband showed up. He was supposedly much older than she, though he looked around the same age as her. He brought them both cappuccinos and chocolate cake. A little voice in my head whispered how it wished it could eat like that...

Upon his arrival, she talked to him for a bit and I went back to my studies. I couldn't help but listen to her worries about her daughter; the husband seemed quite at ease and was actually cracking jokes, which was probably his way to cope with his own angst. Then he pulled out the newspaper and started to read, all the while she would talk to him about her worries. I felt it rather thoughtless of him, not to be consoling his wife, but from sometimes even the best gentleman isn't aware that he is being neglectful or doing something wrong. We are, after all, only human.

I wanted her to feel better, so I struck up a conversation with her. It turned out to be a phenomenal conversation! I started off by asking about her daughters eyesight, if the hospital was near, etc etc. The hospital was close she assured me, and they had their cellphone on it's loudest so they might spring away at the moments notice. She was a lovely lady, I could see in her eyes that she was a warm soul. There were lines around her eyes I suspected from smiling all her life, or from every time she clenched her eyes shut when giving her children the most whole hearted hug.

She seemed to relax after a while, especially after telling me how the eye surgery field has progressed in recent years and the clinic her daughter was at had an upstanding record. When her nerves had eased and her mind distracted, our conversation moved elsewhere. She asked me about my studies, Communication and Sociology I replied. We talked about family and how "genes are everything". I told her about how my Grandma told me I was like my grandpa, even though I've never met him. She told me how her grandchildren are just like their children, and how the entire family shares an artistic trait. I asked her if she had been to America, she told me a story about San Fransisco. She asked me about my favourite period in history (hers was the 60's), we talked of the Kennedy's and Dr. King Jr. Then we got into politics, we talked about Hilary and Obama. Our views there differed, and I could see that, at least in politics, she was a little eccentric.

She had some some opinions about Bill and Hilary, mostly that Bill is something of a "pervert" and Hilary is just in it for the power. I allowed her her say, then I spoke saying first that though Bill had made a mistake, I have to give him a second chance. For what he did for our country was undeniable and, falling upon my upbringing, "he made a mistake but he's still a good person, or he can continue doing his best to be a good person, just like the rest of us". She quickly rebutted that it hadn't just been Miss. Lewinsky, and that there had been many. I didn't have any information on this, I'd never heard of such an alligation so I couldn't make any further statements. But what I could say is that, taking a step back, it's easy to judge someone and say we'd be different, how could he? etc. But the pressures, the power, and the temptations that come from a position like that would be unlike anything we could possibly imagine. She conceded that no one would know how they would perform until they were in the position. I also made the point that I thought it was silly to squabble about what kind of a man Bill was compared to the current office holder and the choices he's made, not personally, but in the sake of an entire nation. The crises that we face today should be what we discuss, not Bills philandering.

We moved on to Hilary then.

Honestly, I wished to have more of a discussion about Barak and Hilary, but she insisted on talking about Hilary. I think this is where she went over the top, however, everyone is entitled to their opinions. She thought that the only reason Hilary stayed with Bill was because she knew she wanted to be President in the future, and that she hung on to him for status, power, and the sake of the media. I thought that rather demeaned Hilary. Hilary is a strong woman and I think she could do a good job, have a strong hand, and start to lead this Country out of it's self inflicted pit. But we didn't talk about that much.

I tried to bring in discussion about Obama as well, about his political advertisement system, writing books, not taking major donations, relying on word of mouth, traveling the country, meeting the people. But that topic was dropped as well.

Besides that discussion on Politics, the woman, whose name was Nicola and her husband was Richard, was a very nice lady. I had to go prepare for lecture but it was really nice to meet them. I shook both their hands before I left and they waved me goodbye as I left. I turned my back and as I walked out, I heard her say "Oh goodbye Zach! Goodbye! Goodbye!"

Such a sweet lady. I was glad to have met her.

No comments: