Saturday, May 21, 2005

Then, Now, and a While Later....

(If public embarrassment isn’t grounds for divorce)

The husband and I (I’m speaking for the hubby here as this is MY blog, HA! So he can only give that grunt of approval or disapproving “Hmm..” I am honored with, after each post. This, after dancing around him going “What do you think? What do you think?” while he reads it), we like to be that couple who go running early on Saturday and then relax at Peet’s sipping coffee and reading the Boston Phoenix or the Globe or whatever. Well we haven’t got the running bit down but we do a fair bit of the coffee drinking on Saturday mornings. There’s this game we play there which I guess almost everyone has played at some level. We watch people who go by or come into the café and try to guess what they do for a living or anything about them. There’s obviously no way of winning this game, but it’s funny and we get to polish our Hindi trying to say “Investment Banker who wants the brunette barista with a navel ring” while the other adds “One time only” after that.

This Saturday brought a cheery girl with long dark hair bouncing in to the counter. She needed directions to MoS and listened to the complicated instructions being given to her with a helpless “Can’t you just take me there?” look. A pleasant looking chap with curly hair and a paperback stuffed in the pocket of his jeans slides up to help her, much to the relief of the barista who moved on to the elderly couple behind her. There was a pause as the barista and the elderly couple looked at the energy with which the guy began to help the girl. Now the elderly couple were a sweet, wrinkly pair. The lady had on these loose, flowered capris and she carried a HUGE purse and he wore a Red Sox cap and carried a cane. They took their time staring at the lists and lists of cappuccinos and frappacinos wondering no doubt why they didn’t just have “Coffee - Large” listed and maybe in a bigger font size. It’s time they did that. They settled for tea though. “Could you add some honey to that?” the man asked. “Yes, he likes his honey” said the wife. To which the man looked at her and went “I like my honey alright” And the wife rolled her eyes and he chuckled. So cute. The stuff they can get away with at that age!! The barista waited patiently for this mild flirtation to subside before she directed them to the sugar and honey. They shuffled off, both of them still smiling. The barista then saw me looking at her and smiled. The hubby who was till then glaring at my unabashed staring smiled too.

Meanwhile pleasant guy with paperback in hip pocket and cheery long-haired girl had moved on to exclaims on discovering how close they actually lived to each-other and all. She laughed, showing shiny teeth, and tossed the shiny hair. He grinned. They were all fresh and available and so very good at the whole song and dance of coquetry, I could see. Yes, I was doing a lot of seeing. I am told I can be very rude at times with all my staring. But I just can’t help it. I continued to watch with impervious fascination and wondered how this was going to end.

The elderly couple were leaving the café. The old gentleman suddenly stopped and addressed pleasant-guy-with-paperback. To my astonishment he was pointing at me. “The nice lady is wondering when you’ll ask for the chick’s number” he said. I jumped, startled, shaking my head apologetically at the pleasant guy. “No,no...sorry”. Paperback laughed. Cheery girl blushed. Old man laughed at my red face. “It’s OK. We were watching too. He needs to get her number if he ever wants to have what you two have got!” he said. I laughed, embarrassed. We know we look like the much-married pair we are. The limited, need-based conversation and laid-back comfort, a sure giveaway, any day. “I hope we get to have what you two have got someday” I said softly to the elderly couple before burying my head in my paper and promising myself I’ll work on the staring problem. I looked up when I felt calm enough and the laughter had subsided, the hubby’s told-you-so-look had to be dealt with anyway, at some point. Better get it over with in a public place! He looked reasonably amused though. But the next time I will be kicked in the shin below the table. I have it coming, I know.


Anonymous sqrl/NT said...

aww thats so cute,, I hope I get what you guys, and they have too... I am much engaged so far.. yet to be much married..:)

Also, there is NOTHING wrong with staring I tell u... i do it all the time.. u have to be prepared for the occasional dirty/mean look in your direction.. but I am a rhino as far as skin is concerned.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous alpha said...

Gabby, with your eyes, you ought not to be surprised. The staring couple as I always knew, at their best. hehe. cute. hmm..Saturday runs..Boston globe..high profile man!

11:56 AM  
Blogger Alien said...

Hey, you're a good writer and keep writing; we'll keep reading.

1:17 PM  
Blogger chaudes said...

I have posted some of
my photos here

1:20 PM  
Blogger chaudes said...

I have posted some of
my photos here

1:23 PM  
Blogger FunnyCide said...

When you get into the running thing, do let me know. I will contribute my share of gasps and surprises and a few tears of happiness!! :D

Nice post. Interesting morning!! You coffee addicts, what happened to your good old cuppa filter coffee??

1:25 PM  
Blogger Akruti said...

That was so cute:) i always come here and read whatever u write.I always makes me smile:) but this time thought of leaving a comment.
Loved the line "I hope we get to have what you two have got someday” Amen.keep posting.

1:46 PM  
Blogger anantha said...

They were all fresh and available and so very good at the whole song and dance of coquetry, I could see.

Interesting use of words... :)

*too inexperienced in anything to say anything else!

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Ashok said...

Girly, but well written. I usually hate people who stare. But when you know the person (Blogs make you feel you KNOW the person), it's funny.

"The stuff they can get away with at that age!!"
So true.

5:13 PM  
Blogger VC said...

awwww-some post!!!!!
Boston Phoenix or the Globe or whatever
That shows where your priorities lay - defo not in the running or the coffee....
Mr.Gabby's version would have probably been something like :
"we did a bit of jogging, went to the coffee shop, this dude was trying to hit on this chick, this old couple and Mrs.Gabby were having fun with it. YAAY! SOX BEAT THE BRAVES!!!!"

8:27 PM  
Blogger thennavan said...

Gabby, you tend to defy the proverb "What is this life full of care, we have no time to stand and STARE" :-)

10:21 PM  
Blogger AmitL said...

Hi,Gabby,well,I never knew staring is such a fine art.:)Here's wishing that u also get to have someday what the ole couple had got(albeit,it need not be when u reach old age,does it?:)...btw,nice to know two more 'observers'...we'll have some interesting times,when we do have a blog meet,i can imagine.

11:14 PM  
Blogger AmitL said...

Hi,Gabby,well,I never knew staring is such a fine art.:)Here's wishing that u also get to have someday what the ole couple had got(albeit,it need not be when u reach old age,does it?:)...btw,nice to know two more 'observers'...we'll have some interesting times,when we do have a blog meet,i can imagine.

11:14 PM  
Blogger KJ said...

Hi Gabby, astute observation . Good. :-)

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gabby, you observe a LOT. The guy, girl, old couple...! :D


8:36 AM  
Anonymous Angel said...

awwww...that is so cute....I hope you can deal with you staring though :)

11:02 AM  
Blogger Rhyncus said...

I love to stare and its an art, for you don't want the object of your stare to become self-conscious. Gabby, you still have some way to go in that department, I see. :)
But did the old geezer actually say 'chick'?
And why are no longer calling him Mr.Gabby? Did he disapprove of that, your husband?

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Zoheb said...

Awwww, so cute. I wonder why I dont get such cute reactions when I am staring and waiting for some tantalizingly poised strap to slip.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh Heh. I wouldn't mind Gabby staring at ME, one bit.

3:44 PM  
Blogger gvenum said...

ahh very nice. I have a proposition for you. Next time you guys happen to meet this chick or some one who is a single, can you have ur hubby ask for her number. This way ur hubby has fun talking to this chick, you by staring them without getting embarrased and me having the chick's number from your hubby. What say .umm..umm..umm...* keeping the "puss" face from shrek2*

5:12 PM  
Anonymous you-know-me said...

Wonder what the Hindi word for "Investment banker" is...Anybody?

6:43 PM  
Blogger Peg said...

Another excellent story and tribute to life and love! You just totally amaze and delight me with your writing! You are a star....

I am smiling and glad to be here!

9:18 PM  
Blogger shub said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww...the sweetest post EVER! :)
so sweet gabby!! its almost like.....romance at three stages there...teh beginning(?), middle n the twilight zone...
soooooooo sweet!

9:43 PM  
Blogger thennavan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Pallavi said...

hahahah :) I wonder sometimes.. too how it is going to end.. seeing the young uns stumble in relationships... and then I give a sigh of much earned wisdom and go my way .. LOL

10:48 PM  
Blogger phatichar said...

hmmmmmmm... :)

11:09 PM  
Blogger manuscrypts said...

activate shinguard... oops, still in the star wars mood ... gr8 story and a nice game, think i will start playing it too..:)

11:30 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

You guys sound like the ideal couple, going running, dancing and doing so much together! I stare at people too... but miss most of what I am supposed to SEE!

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch out for your shins Gratis because I see a compulsive "starer" in you. You've begun blogging about your stares too, you can't stop now :)


5:34 AM  
Blogger anantha said...

gvenum: I have asked just her that a couple of times before and she does not answer :O

6:44 AM  
Blogger jcwinnie said...

love abides

9:24 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

sqrl/nt - I like the rhino-strategy :)...Engaged? Lovely. Drag out the engaged stage...enjoy the attention :)

alpha - staring couple na? then why do I get the lectures? It's all that mascara maybe that makes me out like the BIGGER STARER LOL!

shine - thanks beta :)..i checked your blog, you're not that young and i'm not that old but still feel like addressing you as "beta" Hee Hee..!

funnyc - thank goodness SOMEBODY got the bit about NOT MAKING IT TO THE RUNNING! Alpha admittedly only skims what I write...but I began to worry when everyone started talking about my running. We don't run people, we would like to.

akruti - thanks very much for leaving a sign this time. I liked what I saw in your blog. My next post will have something to do with what you have there. I will be back there again.

Anti - Ahh! You can relate, yes? I thought so :)

Ashok - Mr.Gabby called it girly too. I am a girl you know. :)

vc - i care a lot about the coffee actually. We grind seeds at home and all that. i married a tam brahm is coffee-enriched

Thennavan - Plenty of time I say. We need to make time for the imp stuff no?

Kj and Peggy - I SEEM to observe. A blog, it can me so misrepresenting! :)

Angel - thanks sweetie...

Rhyncus - YES! The old geezer did say "chick"..Again, the stuff they get away with!! Mr.Gabby doesn't ind least got no grunt/Hmm about that...I wonder why I went "My husband"...maybe my REAL life is taking over :)

Zoheb - Straps...what's it about them? They're just straps...You do know that the garment will not disintegrate into dust if the strap DOES slip, right?

Anon - "Heh Heh" to you too

gvenum - Can we charge you? It's really time I opened a "Shaadi-Kya Jaldi?" kinda site for you single 'uns...Hee Hee

You-know-me - No clue...we made do with "Bank-wala" :)

Peg, Shub - Thank you m'ladies. Very much.

Pallavi - Yeah...the "Been there" sigh huh?

Phatichar - You too...? COME ON!

manuscrypts - I'm taking to ankle boots :)...same line of self-preservation...LOL!

Anumita - Again, a blog can be so misrepresenting :)...Btw, we did NOT go running...we try...& this is my side..maybe Mr.Gabby's blog would read very differently!

passer-by - you know me quite well! It's getting spooky! LOL!

Anti - Type "" and enter your profile please!

Amitl - We could see who can stare the other down ! LOL. I talk a lot too though. It's difficult sometimes no? People underestimate the skill.

9:41 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Jonathan - I agree....that's the hope at least

9:43 AM  
Blogger anantha said...

Gabby: Horlicks related post for your kind perusal ;)

9:46 AM  
Blogger anantha said... could not be found. Please check the name and try again. :O

ROTFL! I got ur joke :p

9:49 AM  
Blogger gvenum said...

>>Can we charge you

Charge me....look at hubby is having fun, you are having a feast...I am just asking a number. So you get paid for having your desires come true?...Sheesh..everyone is so ready to pick on singles.

9:52 AM  
Blogger anantha said...

*agrees totally with gvenum!

9:56 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Anti - Thanks for Horlicks post...forwarded link to Mr.Gabby :)...Liked my joke? *innocent smile*

Gvenum - Singles are for picking. (and picking on) Hee Hee!

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was one embarrassing situation to be in. I wonder if you said that line sincerely or to ward off the attention?

11:40 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Anon - Your guess is as good as mine :)

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Zoheb said...

You do know that the garment will not disintegrate into dust if the strap DOES slip

You killed all my hopes with that one line Gabby. All these years and all that staring ....was for nothing :-(

10:17 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

I could almost put myself in your shoes in this post! So many mini-stories have been written (and even edited) inside my head as I have people-watched through the years. I love to try to determine what it is that people do, where they are from, what they might be thinking, etc.
Maybe it's the writer in us; always looking for a good story to tell ~ and looky here, you've told one! :)

3:16 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Zoheb - Remember the Cindr Crawford Safety-Pin dress? Now that would have been worth the effort. It really was held together with safety pins.

Weary - Yes! It's always "Ah, I can use this"...:)

7:45 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Zoheb - That was Cindy Crawford...(like I needed to correct that!)

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello, can you put up your emailID AT GHEEMAIL DOT COM? Believe me, spamsters aren't armed with smileys and sense of yumar :-)

7:50 PM  
Blogger Manish said...

Gabby you write good.. really good.. not all ppl are so good at explaining things.. the way u did.. keep it up..

P.S - Can I call u Gabbar :D kuch apna sa lagta hai Gabbar naam ;)

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Ash said...

Aw, that was super-sweet !

Hunh, I wonder what stage Id characterize me and P to be...hmmm...

1:38 PM  
Anonymous burf said...


i thought its just in delhi where ppl stare into other's cars when they stop at traffic lights ;)

keep up the gud work :D

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


got directed here through Tipsy Topsys very cute and so very romantic this post....
i particularly liked the "The limited, need-based conversation and laid-back comfort, a sure giveaway, any day. "

though i suspect that the story is part fiction...would be surprised if it all actually happened the way youve woven it.

will sure be here more often!

with your permission, may i forward this link or this post to my friends, who otherwise do not visit let me know

2:46 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Ash - Thanks sweets!

burf - Staring into cars...ah, there's a lotta blog-potential there :)

Anon - Sure you may. Thanks for the compliments. Do you blog yourself?

9:29 PM  
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10:37 PM  

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