I posted this little rambling on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and it seemed to really get people talking. After reading about my eavesdropping in a play cafe where I heard some interesting conversation ots of people suggested it would be a great start to a story. I thought I'd post it here as a blog post too for those that missed it, but it really got me thinking about how story ideas are so easily found in everyday life. Maybe one day I'll use this one.
Here's the post:
A conversation I had with a friend today reminded me of something funny/strange that happened a while back. We were talking about strange conversations we'd overheard, so I thought I'd share mine with you. I had taken my son to a play café on my day off while the other kids were at school. Being by myself I ordered coffee and relaxed back with my notebook to do some writing. A man was sitting at the table beside me looking very awkward and for the life of me I couldn't work o...ut why. He kept looking at the door nervously and insisted his son go enjoy the playground in a way that made it seem as if he didn't want him around. I sat there and wondered what his problem was when a woman walked in and made her way toward the table. She stopped nearby and bent down to remove the shoes of her 2 small children. She too looked completely uncomfortable and I knew she was here for him. They exchanged an odd look before she insisted her kids head to the playground too. At this point I'm telling myself to mind my own business, but let's face it, that's never been one of my strong points. I sipped my latte and pretended to be engrossed in my notes as I peered over the top and watched their bizarre exchange. I wondered, given the awkwardness, if they were meeting for a 1st date (strange at a play cafe, yes, but not impossible) or 2 parents meeting for a kids play date, but they really didn't seem to know each other and the nervous tension was evident. I sat back, edging closer to their table as she stood back up and walked over to him. The man, red-faced, got up and said, I'm James. To say I was intrigued would be an understatement. When my son returned to tell me he'd gone down the slide I quickly told him he was wonderful and sent him back to the jungle play area. I did feel a little bad for eavesdropping, but I was so caught up, I just HAD to know what was going on. There were a few pleasantries, nice to meet you etc and then she said something that made me gasp and almost made me choke to death on my latte. "I'm sorry about all of this. They're both cheating sods and I hope they rot in hell." The man nodded his agreement and explained how he had discovered his wife was having an affair with this lady's husband when he had gone to bring up Facebook and it had automatically logged into his wife's account. The messages were there in plain sight about their meet-ups and exchanges. I turned to get something out of my bag and peered up at both of their sad faces. My heart sank to see how hurt they both looked and how connected two strangers had become in only minutes because of a shared experience. I considered telling them that they'd make a great couple, but decided I should leave well enough alone. Clearly they had enough drama to contend with.