Friday, April 1, 2011

eggroll and perrier, please

I need a quick nutritious lunch and that's not available from my cupboard.  I have been avoiding the supermarket because I'm tired of the pale winter vegetables shipped from some godforsaken southern hemisphere country. I park in front of a little Vietnamese-Thai cafe in a seedy part of town and I double check my locked car doors.
The health department has forgotten about this place judging by the condition of its bathroom and other dark corners. The owner is a chef extraordinaire but I don't understand her singsong accent so I nod my head and hope she doesn't ask a direct question.

But the food is good. I eat sweet and sour soup with steamed tofu and garlicky cabbage with curry and thinly sliced peppery beef, more tofu fried with crunchy carrots and broccoli. I turn the page in my book and then I catch a scent of an exotic expensive cologne.  I look up to see two polished society dames, and they seem out of place in this scruffy neck of the woods.

They are tall women and walk with an inbred deliberate grace.  They are flawless starting with their blond hair pulled back into little pony-tails, no bangs please, down to their soft, camel-colored leather boots. Their clothes fit them well and it is obvious they do not shop locally. They inspect the place with a practiced eye and talk to each other as if the rest of us are not here.  One woman does not understand that we need to get our own water, napkin and silverware and she stands there bewildered and giggling, poor pampered queenie.  "I don't know what to do,"she squeals arching her perfect brows and  the owner quickly comes to her aid making this all a silly understandable story.
They talk about their children, that is if talking about children means listing their accomplishments, what schools they have graduated from and where they traveled in Europe. I don't like these women and their sloppily misplaced priorities. They should know better.

 I am at a wedding shower, one of those horrid women-only parties and we are forced to compete   making bridal veils out of toilet paper.  A woman approaches  me and I recognize her as the wife of a prominent business man, Dave knows her,  and she spends most of her time at a local spa tightening the appropriate muscles. She nervously says, "my son went to the same grade school as your son."  I asked about the young man, remembering that he and Jason had indeed spent time together and she shrugged her shoulders. "He is teaching philosophy at an east coast college, a small place."   Sounds interesting, I say, does he like it?  "I don't know," she replied and I don't think she ever considered this issue. "I just don't understand," she continued, "he doesn't seem interested in making money."

Years ago my sister and I shared many confidences and we would walk through affluent neighborhoods spying on the residents and their sleek cars and overly fertilized flower beds.  We would talk about the differences in our worlds and I wondered what it would be like to have this life, all these shiny new things. And when I asked that question  Amy said, "but do you think they're really happy?"

6 comments:

LoRFLoR said...

I think I have read the word "seedy" in your posts before when describing "a part" of town....I am beginning to wonder if the whole town is seedy...

dawn marie giegerich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dawn marie giegerich said...

Okay, I'm awake. Yes, you're right but then the seedy parts of town are always more interesting.

MrDaveyGie said...

This would be a good place to insert this comment. Dawn, do you remember when I moved to this part of town, our parents soon followed, next, sister Amy, and then you and Dave.

Must be my magnetism....:-)

dawn marie giegerich said...

Gee, that never occurred to me. How could I have missed that?

LoRFLoR said...

(ooooh - a deleted comment by yourself...hmmm) BTW, THis is a fantastic post. I love everything that it captures. Have I said before I love your writing? :)