Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The angel in the burger joint

Last night, I had a meeting a few cities away, and I decided that I would take myself out to one of my favorite burger joints that I normally wouldn't drive so far for. While I stood in line, I could feel people's eyes on me - on the bump. It's very obviously a pregnant bump now, not a chubby one, so I'm not usually insecure about it. But in this restaurant full of people, full of couples on dates, full of an entire fire department, I felt kind of exposed.

I ordered my food to-go and looked for a place to sit while I waited. It was packed. There was a bench for people waiting for to-go orders but it was totally packed with men over the age of 80. I wasn't about to let them give up there seat for me, a much less deserving and more-capable-of-standing person. The man on the end started to stand, but I told him I was fine and he could stay seated. Rather than insisting that I take his spot, he scooted over and made some room beside him.

We sat, thighs touching, me and this 85-year-old man. He asked me how I was doing. He asked me without hesitation or worry of offending me when my baby was due. It was refreshing to talk to someone who didn't dance around the topic before asking questions about pregnancy. He knew I was pregnant and just dove right in.

He started telling me how he and his wife had eight kids together. I told him this was my first and I was very excited. He laughed and told me how they had four daughters, then a son, then they thought they knew what they were doing so they tried for more boys and got two more girls, and then seven years later, a big surprise for everyone, they got another boy. We laughed and he even patted my belly. He asked me "the wife does way more work, so could a husband really say WE have a baby? She's really the one who does it all." Then his number was called and he picked up his food, wished me luck and left.

I sat there trying to stifle my beaming smile. I'm sure it made everyone wonder what in the world the pregnant girl is laughing at. I picked up my burger and ate it in my car in the parking lot, thinking about that old man. I wished I had invited him to eat with me or at least find out his name. For the five minutes we chatted, he totally lifted my spirits, made me feel beautiful, and reaffirmed my excitement for this new life I'm creating.

Thanks, Old Angel Man. Many more burgers will be eaten in your honor in the hopes that I run into you again at the burger place.


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