Friday, October 24, 2008

My dinner with Stas

It's been a busy week at school and TGIF. I decide to stop at a local eatery instead of making my own dinner tonight. I like this place. It's small and cozy, nothing fancy, and the waitresses remind me of the hometown diners in Philly. Sometimes I do get homesick, especially this weekend with the Phillies being in the World Series and all.

I settle into one of the back booths, feeling a bit lonely and nostalgic. As I sip my red wine, two gents stroll in and sit in the booth across from me. They are both about my age and, to tell the truth, the guy just a few feet to my right is easy on the eyes: rugged face, silver hair, small neatly trimmed mustache. He catches my attention. Sitting there, staring into my spaghetti, I hear the other fellow call him, Stas, which is Polish for Stan. I grew up hearing a lot of Polish nicknames such as Juziu (Joey), Edziu (Eddie), Stasiu (Stanley), Wladziu (Walter). Everybody in a Polish household has a friendly tag to their more formal name.

I picture myself hopping right over to their table and sitting next to Stas, telling him I grew up in a Polish neighborhood in Philly. He would give me a brilliant smile and wink. Our eyes would meet and lock. We'd have a couple rounds of piwo (beer), salute Pulaski, and get to know each other. At my age, silver-haired, well-toned males don't come around often. Trouble is, I'm kinda rusty in the flirting department. In fact, I never get to practice 'cause when I play Barbies with Sophie and Hannah, they always make me play Diego or Preminger (not Otto). I have to be "the bad guy" who threatens their castle. They get to swish and act coy and do all the teasing. So I'm really out of shape.

Here I am, close enough to a healthy Polish-American specimen to reach out and touch him, and all I can do is eat my spaghetti and eavesdrop on his conversation with his buddy. I soon notice that this guy is not much for words. Eye candy but mute. He seems to be doing all the listening while the other guy goes on about his time in the navy and visiting Russia and something about 14-year-old girls and communism. Oh, and his snow blower is 23-years old.

By now, the restaurant is filling up with the dinner crowd and getting noisy, too noisy. I keep straining to hear what brilliant words will come from Stas and he continues to be the strong, silent type. I get desperate and cast a glance or two his way but he's oblivious to my eye contact, listening instead to his dinner partner who continues to utter Stas before beginning each sentence. I finish my last meatball and my wine thinking that I know a helluva lot about the guy I'm not interested in but nothing about Stas. Another daring glance - no wedding band on his finger. Finally, Mr. Tight Lips asks about "Steve". Steve? And then the other guy shares that Steve has come home to visit "Mom". Holy Hannah, Mom must be about 95 years old and still kickin'. Now I get it ... two old bachelors, catching up.

Then I watch as my sexy, brawny senior leans across the table and speaks multi-syllabic words to momma's boy. I am now practically leaning across the aisle because of all the chatter going on in the other booths. My hunka thunka Stas is having verbal diarrhea and whispering something important.

At last, the body language cuts through the white noise.

I really need to develop better radar. I can't believe it took me a glass of wine, one plate of spaghetti, and two meatballs to figure out they were gay.

Ain't love grand?


Terry said...

Oh ratz! And you had me thinking you were onto a live one.

doow said...

What a page-turner, or rather, scroller!

wrongshoes said...

Just blog-hopping and found your blog. I loved this!

geogirl said...

Yep, I've been there too.

But hey, now there is no need to be shy...the next time you see him just walk right up and say something in polish. You could make a great new friend!

Jenn said...

You are hilarious! What a punchline. xo

Meg said...

Ah, Preminger, from the Barbie movie, right? Did you know Martin Short does his voice? I love that movie (The Princess and the Pauper) and it makes it even more fun that it's Martin Short.

Too bad he was gay, for your sake. Good story telling.