Letter to Anonymous, #005

At first I felt kind of sorry for you. Here you are in a quiet family restaurant and you’ve already talked loudly into the cell phone during one lengthy conversation, ignoring your lunch companion (I think she’s your daughter) for a good deal of time. This at least confuses me because a significant part of the population doesn’t believe it’s rude to talk at normal voice on a cell phone in a restaurant while others (like myself) find it tacky and off-putting. Fine, though. I barely notice you at first as I enjoy my lunch with my family – just note you have that entitled loud-talking way about you and probably don’t realize that people who don’t even know you think you’re a bit of a jerk.

But then as my family finishes their meal and my husband gets up to pay you make yet another phone call and I sense a more keyed-up conversation. I hear you say, ‘It’s not only against my personal philosophy…” and a few seconds later, louder still, “and I don’t see how we should put reconditioned parts on my brand new van. I’ve had it ten days when this happened. It just doesn’t make sense to me.” Ah. OK, I get it. I know who you are and recognize the aggressive Man-In-Charge assholishness that has probably served you well to get what you want – nay, deserve, out of life.

Then you start to lecture the mechanic on the other end: “I ran the van pool for such-and-such for twelve years so I’m very familiar with how these things are done,” (wonder how many mechanics hear that?). At this point I’m thinking, A. it makes perfect sense that a man who owns a brand new van also would put this display up in a restaurant where others are trying to enjoy their repast, and B. I’m getting the heck out of here before the elderly diner who has just turned in his seat and is sending daggers of hate out of his eyes confronts you – as I’m sure he will. I should have at least looked at your dining companion to see if she supports this behavior as normal or OK or, as I would be, is sitting in quiet mortification whilst thinking, “What a douche!”

In any case, we don’t stop to investigate further – we pay our bill and leave. Good luck with the repairs on your twenty-something thousand dollar minivan. But being you is your own reward.

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