Saturday, June 7, 2008

What This Says About Me

So I'm sitting in Starbucks the other day (even though they don't have an apostrophe) reading and drinking my grande nonfat caramel macchiato, upside down, 190ยบ (that is so mortifying, but I felt I had to out myself. Yes, I'm fully aware that I am not a real coffee drinker.), and there is an attractive couple sitting across from me. Automatically I like them, because I'm shallow like that; I like the attractive. They weren't conventionally good looking, I suppose, it was more how they were put together, the care they took in their appearance. Not overdressed or overly made up, just nice. He was in a crisp shirt and tie, she in a simple blouse with a tasteful broach. What delighted me was that they were hmm, 50? I'm not so good with age. Around 50. They both had iPod buds (awkward word) in their ears (that was the delightful part, by the way).

Sitting in comfy leather chairs, the inner arms of each creating a cozy V together, both husband and wife ('cause I'm sure they were married) were reading the newspaper. And what I loved was the way they kept leaning into each other to point out something in their section of the paper that they thought would interest the other. Maybe they were waiting for some meeting. They had that quality of "spending a dash of time." There was a book on each lap, his hardcover and large, hers smaller with a soft cover. Maybe even a journal. This couple caught my eye the moment I walked in. I suspect it was he. Not gorgeous or anything, just striking. Probably the color combo. That Danny Glover dark skin/gray hair thing. Balding, salt and pepper beard. It was definitely that balding head that caught my eye; I love a finely-shaped pate, and nature's chosen color scheme was really working for me.

This is all just to say, I liked these people, simply by looking at them. They looked very comfortable in themselves and their surroundings and with each other. I kept watching them and happily they were too engrossed in their music and their papers to notice me. And as I was reading they eventually put down their papers and picked up their books. I glanced up and noticed the tell-tale sign of ribbons in the books. Oh my god, the books are Bibles. They're actively reading the Bible! And suddenly, it was over. They had disappointed me. They were religious, and so religious that they were reading the Bible in Starbucks. And then I realized they probably weren't waiting for a meeting, they were probably taking a rest from proselytizing. And I detest proselytizing. Clearly some of them childhood Jew studies still resonate within me. Jews don't proselytize, no no no, big no-no. In fact, if you want to become a Jew, it ain't easy. The Rabbi will actually turn you away. Three times, I believe, but these days I suspect that's mostly ritual. And then you have to study like crazy, 'cause that's what Judaism is all about. And like a lot of Jews, I'm full to brimming with the cultural stuff and tradition I was raised on, but I think that "religion" and "faith" business is rather a lot of hooey, and, dare I say it, doo-dah (waggle fingers in the air, when daying doo-dah, please, for the full effect).

I don't fully respect religious people. (I will understand if you don't want to be my friend. I think I'm an ass for feeling this way, I just can't help it. [And don't really want to help it.]) My feeling is, "What's wrong with you that you need to believe in that? What are you missing inside of yourself? And wouldn't you be better served by seeing a psychiatrist and finding all the strength of the world within yourself?" All the searchers I've ever known, all those "spiritual" people looking so very hard elsewhere, never seem to look inside, nor have I ever known one to actually find his or herself. They're looking in the wrong place. Look at yourself, and look to your people (family, and those you consider family. Unless your family isn't worthy, then look to the family you've made).

So, um, yeah, what the hell was I saying? Where did I start? Oh yeah, I'm a lousy judgmental bitch (I really wanted to say cunt, but I worried that would be too startling), who decided what I wanted to about this couple at Starbucks (damn that apostrophe), first good, then bad. And the thing is, they were perfectly happy with their world and their choices, and I don't know them at all. But when all is said and done, I don't care to know them.

(And by the way, said the freaky hypocrite, I regularly thank some amorphous being for all the things that make me happy and content every day. Like reading a book in Starbucks with a quasi-coffee beverage.)

I am awfully fond of you,


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