I am having an early lunch at one of my favorite cozy spots between meetings in the bustling boutique-full Fillmore. The young white boho-bougie couple seated at the table directly in front of me are thumbing through home decor magazines offered by the cafe, covered in clear plastic, while they eat breakfast.
He, spearing a forkful of runny egg, then stacking a piece of bacon and corner of toast on top it in a careful balancing act. She, flipping pages and mouthing the words to Route 66 playing over us, while her other hand pokes at a pile of crispy hash browns with a fork. (A ribbon of ketchup will soon soften them.)
The table next to me is filled with a newly engaged woman and her visiting WASPy parents; wedding dress shopping today. Sunny blonde with a spring break-worthy tan, wearing a starched white button down that maybe she stole from her fiance’s closet (he generously let her have the bedroom walk-in; took the tiny one in the hallway), lots of gold jewelry and a Nike fuel band. She catches her parents up on everyone’s business.
"She’s just really bored with her life, so she makes poor decisions."
She thinks she might be ready to have a baby.
"Is he ready, too?"
"He’s ready. He’s ready because I’m ready."
The magazine readers have gone, replaced with a playful, almost mid-aged Chinese American couple, smiling and bobbing to Aerosmith’s Janie’s Got A Gun. He’s brought her a giant glass of orange juice. Her narrow eyes go rounded and she puts it in the center of the table to share. They’re both looking at their phones now as they wait for their order to appear, singing along happily with the only lyrics they know, Janie’s got a gun…
Two perfectly coiffed BFFs glide over clutching LV-emblazoned bags and champagne mimosas, they sit nearby. Touch glasses in celebration of something exciting: ”You haven’t gained any weight, you look great.”
The engaged daughter beside me usually does crossfit during lunch.
"A bunch of us from work go together."
Mom wonders out loud if rigorous crossfit might impact her final dress fitting before the wedding.
Cyndi Lauper’s hard-living angel voice comes over the speaker in a heart wrenching acoustic performance of True Colors.
The picture perfect BFFs keep talking excitedly; maybe too young to share my goosebumps and throat lumps.
The Asian couple remain engrossed in their phones, that massive orange juice now drained by her without any help.
So don’t be afraid to let them show…
The bride-to-be’s ears perk up, stops crossfitting her fork in mid air, “this would be an awesome first dance song.” Dad, mostly quiet until now, agrees.