That Angry Gentleman at the Restaurant

The man's facial expression betrayed any attempt he might have put forward to hide his frustration. I could tell when I caught a glimpse of him. My family was sitting behind his table at a local restaurant, close enough that I could hear his annoyed huffing, but far enough away that he didn't feel me staring at him — which of course I couldn't help. He was an older man, white hair, wrinkled skin. The woman with him was older, too. I assumed it was his wife, which led me to assume that their tense moment was merely an indication that seasoned marriages can still have their share of arguments — though I can't be sure.

I had heard him yell. That's why I was looking at him. I wasn't looking at him before the sudden scream startled my family and me — and everyone else around him. I had been minding my own business, tending to the attention my kids needed. But then this man, presumably someone's grandfather, got loud.

The gentlemen had somehow spilled his glass. His table was submerged under water and ice. I looked quick enough to still see little tributaries falling off the edge of the table, into his lap, onto the floor. That's when I knew his yell was more of a wordless curse. It could have been the colloquial four-letter French, and maybe it started as that until he muffled it into the unintelligible grunt-like sound it was, all of which made me kind of thankful.

But then he glared at his wife like it was her fault. Was it? Did she knock over the water? No, she was too calm to have done that. She sat there docile, quiet, unmoved by the heat that emanated from this gentlemen's red forehead. What is the story here? I wondered. Others might have wondered the same. More patrons were watching by then. Quite the scene was forming, though it was nothing yet compared to what it would be.

[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]