A man walks into a bar . . .

Monetary issues changed our plans at the last minute. Still, we wanted to go on a date. So, my better half and I went to a nearby bar/restaurant. I told my friend, “Our plan is to belly up at the bar and eavesdrop on the conversations around us. Because, you never know when you might run into John Quinones and the ‘What would you do?’ crew.”

Rob and I bellied up to the bar, scoping out the clientele around us. Initially, many of the people around us were waiting for tables, so they did not linger long enough to create any entertainment. However, one man walked up  and placed his cell phone, wallet and eye glasses case on the bar. His body language and stance was such that it was clear he owned the two seats, even though he was – at least for now – a party of one.

Taking off my North Texas hat and putting on my eavesdropping hat, I set my sight on the man dressed in jeans and a blue, plaid button down shirt. And, I settled in for an entertaining night ahead.

Mr. John Doe was fidgety. I noticed he frequently checked the door and his Blackberry, apparently anxiously awaiting the arrival of his friend. While he fidgeted, I smiled as he switched from his reading glasses to his non-reading glasses during his door and Blackberry checks. Clearly, John was expecting someone. More clearly, John was nervous about meeting this person. I leaned in and whispered to Rob, “I bet he is waiting for his blind date to arrive.”

Back and forth, back and forth – John turned back to the door and forward to his Blackberry; off and on, off and on – John took off one pair of glasses and put on another pair of glasses. As time passed, I found myself becoming anxious for John. I wondered why this mystery person kept John waiting. Neatly dressed and groomed, with good taste in beer, John seemed like a nice guy. I turned to Rob and quietly said, “I hope he doesn’t get stood up.”

While Rob and I were enjoying our chips and queso, I noticed John picked up his Blackberry, started making a call and walked away. (What? Was he afraid someone was lurking and watching his every mood?!) I wondered if he was calling his expected friend, or if he was “phoning a friend” for advice on what to do next. I didn’t have too much time to ponder his departure, as he returned fairly quickly. He immediately went back to switching his glasses and fixing his shirt. And, shortly after the phone call, I noticed he seemed to respond to a text. “Rob,” I said. “I think she just sent him a text.”

A smile came across John’s face and was quickly replaced by a look of nervousness. He took off his reading glasses, which he used to read and respond to the text.  He anxiously fumbled with his eye glass case, putting his reading glasses away in his coat pocket and putting on his other pair of glasses. He tugged on his shirt, making sure it was smooth and flat. He adjusted his sleeves, as if trying to find comfort, ran his fingers through his hair, and assumed a position on the bar he hoped would make him look calm, cool, and collected. He quickly moved his Blackberry aside, as if trying to push away temptation. He waited. I waited. I whispered to Rob, “I’ve got butterflies.”

We waited. Nothing. Again, John fixed his shirt, pulled at his sleeves and repositioned himself at the bar. I observed as he eyed his Blackberry. Unable to fight the urge, he grabbed the Blackberry, took off one pair of glassed and fumbled with his jacket to retrieve his reading glasses. Before he could check for text messages, his Blackberry rings.

“Hello?” I heard him say. Suddenly, I noticed he stood up straight with excitement, as if he had just been told he won the lottery. However, instead of jumping up and down John looked around the bar, while still talking on the phone. She was near. His date. She was somewhere close. John turned towards me, looking just over my head. Following his movement, I turned in direction he was looking. “There you are!” John said. (I said the same thing in my head.)

At the other end of the bar was the John’s date. Waving to him, as she smiled and talked on her phone. John put down his Blackberry and walked over to greet her. As Rob and I began to gather our things, John and his date returned to his spot. His date happily sat down in one of the chairs, John had guarded for over an hour.

“I usually run late.” I heard his date say. “I’m usually an hour late.” John smiled, “That’s OK. I am glad you made it.” Then John realized he was still wearing his reading glasses. “Oh,” he said as he took off his reading glasses. “I have two pairs of glasses.”

I have no idea how the story ends for John Doe and his date. In my mind, a man walks into a bar, meets his date and lives happily ever after.

2 thoughts on “A man walks into a bar . . .

  1. I just love people watching! It’s so great to build a story in your head for people, and it’s definitely best applied in a restaurant setting. Sometimes you can pick up the most hilarious conversations. I once overheard someone talking to his wife. He told her he wished they didn’t have kids, but he was happy about one of their sons because “he knows how to work his moneymaker.”

    1. Thanks for reading my post, Kristina! I have created many stories in my head about folks I see while out and about in the world. Here’s to more entertainment for us, provided by the people we overhear. (smile)

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