I checked my phone to check the time (because who checks their watches anymore?) for the twelfth time (that’s specific isn’t it?) since I got to the café, my friend was late. So I did what most people would do after browsing all the social media sites that exist- politely eavesdrop. ‘Politely Eavesdrop’ you wonder? It’s simple, you basically sit back and pretend to look out a window, if you’re next to a window, or look pensive. I’ve mastered this technique, not because I like listening to strangers’ conversations, but because my friends are usually late (I’m always early, it may be my fault).
That particular day, I didn’t need to eavesdrop because there was this big group of customers sitting adjacent to me and their conversations were loud enough for the whole café to listen in on – even the elderly couple with the hearing aids sitting in the corner could listen in (they wouldn’t have needed the aids).
The conversation went something like this, (please note: prone to slight exaggeration) :
#1: ‘Dude, that *insert a movie title* was epic! Especially *insert name of Actress* was so hot!
#2: ‘Yes because the talent of a woman is based on her looks’
#3: Guys stop talking the food is here!
(the conversation, I think, had more substance, but I did mention that I was prone to exaggeration!)
At that point the conversation stopped and was replaced with multiple sounds of a camera shutter. This went on for a few minutes before this was replaced with a murmur, only a few words were understandable –barely! ‘Valencia’, ‘Lo-fi’, ‘Hefe’ were some of the words you could hear clearly. Also, if you must know, the elderly couple stopped listening in at this point as they were busy searching for their reading glasses to check their bill.
There I sat listening and watching (from the corner of my eye), and thinking- is this what our generation has come to? When did we as a generation need validation for our existence? When did sort-of artistic photos of food provide such validation?
Just then my friend walked in, phone out, and said “sorry! I got here a few minutes earlier but I just had to take pictures of the exteriors! I want to create a collage of our experience here and the exteriors went really well with what I had in mind!” and sat down. A minute later the appetizer I’d ordered was placed in front of us. We took out our phones and all the questions I had asked myself earlier dissipated as soon as I started snapping photos of our ‘Chilli Cheese Toast’, because let’s face it- “hashtags” are more fun than contemplating the existence of life! (Also, I was starving! I had been waiting a while.)
Oh, and I don’t know what happened to that group or their conversation. My friend brought up our frenemy and you know how that conversation needs all your attention! Also, the rest of our food came, so you know what that meant.