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The aunt

Monday 2/19/24

"This break literally flew by!"

It did not!

If among the first things someone tells me is their political persuasion, I know 1. They're not a person of substance and 2. They aren't someone prone to thinking.

Yesterday I was at the Starbucks reading. I was many places yesterday, but that was one of them. Sitting down at the table next to me--and there are only half a dozen mini-tables after the latest remodeling, all in a row alongside the front wall--was a married couple with their baby, and an adult brother and sister. (She had said, "Sit here, brother.")

The mom monopolized the entire conversation as this dispenser of wisdom educating the simpletons, and did so by using the word "literally" in just about every sentence. (The speaker of the first line of this entry was someone else I had dashed past near Government Center when making my way back from Cambridge.)

She thought--or acted as if--she now had everything in life figured out and was going to help others deal with their respective surfeits of ignorance, as she had previously been ignorant before she had a baby and then became someone who knew everything. I understood that having this child signified to her that now she was important. The baby was this symbol of conferment. Self-conferment. One could have thought that the baby was more about her than the baby. The other human. She was talking right then and there about getting going on child number two, as if the novelty of this first one was already starting to dim. You could tell, too, that she was kind of trying to pressure the husband into moving forward with this, maybe later that day.

I don't think she was necessarily a bad person (but then again, almost everyone is once you know them better), and she was likely talking as she did because her excitement had gotten the better of her. She hadn't seen this female friend of hers in a while, it sounded like. It was one of those friends who gets called "auntie" but isn't technically an aunt--not that these technicalities really matter. The aunt was beautiful. Also, presumably single. There were no references to a significant other, and conversations like this almost always feature those from everyone who has such a thing. But you could tell that kids weren't for her--though she was very sweet with the baby--or at least not for the foreseeable future. I think her brother was bored. Friendly, but more like a guy coming along because he doesn't get to see his sister that much--they may have lived in different places--and sis was in town today and this was the only time she could meet up with her old friend from college or whatever.

You're just sitting there, and you pick up on all of these dynamics as you're doing other things. Even when you're trying to block out that noise. Eventually I couldn't take another "literally" and I had to leave. The "aunt" did smile at me as I left. It's not like I sit there glowering. I look perfectly pleasant, if focused. So, I decided to go for it and said, "Wow, you are smoking hot and have a nice way about you!" I didn't say that, of course. You can't really say anything. You can just smile back and be on your way.


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