Five women were huddled together in a booth over lemon water, iced tea and low calories lunch specials. Gossip was the centripetal force behind their proximity. The occasional peal of outrageous laughter might temporarily blow the five away and against their seatbacks until another juicy tidbit sucked them back in like an imploding 1950’s Vegas casino.
Nine of them were seated adjacently. They were talking amongst themselves but kept one eye and half of their attention on the 5 women in the nearby booth. The nine of them occupied two brewhouse tables pushed together that not only accommodated the nine of them but offered comfortable seating for 16: nine + five and then some. One of the nine might have mentioned that to one of the five. I watched several of the nine intermittently rise and cross the aisle to speak to the party of five. Each time they were politely dismissed.
The table of nine was getting no where with the party of five so their actions became more brash and bold. They talked louder and louder but despite the volume, could not attract the attention of the party of five. There actions were demonstrative and wanting of attention from the ladies they hoped to go home with, but alas, they were invisible to the party of five.
The lack of acknowledgment from the five suddenly made me the unwanted center of attention. The women were engrossed in their ‘girl time’ and I was to suffer the abuse from the neglected. Requests for more drinks were made even though they didn’t need more than what was already in front of them. Selfish tendencies surfaced quickly: they were rude and demanding and disruptive and they had no regard for my other tables or even others in the restaurant; they wanted my undivided attention because the five women had failed to give them theirs.
It was obvious the five women did not know of my abuse, if they did I’m sure it might have been reflected in my tip. No, they were aware of nothing but the sisterhood that held them together. Nothing came between them: not even their nine children they were supposed to sit with but opted not to.