Letter: Sixty minutes at food court

Dear Editor,

People passing by with serious faces, some hungry for food, some in serious conversations. Young girls’ chit chatting with each other and seniors talking politics.

Some sitting alone staring off into the distance.

Some intent on just gobbling down their food, while others walking back and fo undecided about what they would like for lunch. Children nagging their Mom’s for a new toy and trying to strike a deal to their advantage. Two ladies in their 70s catching up on family news unaware that I was watching them.

A table of high school students, iPhone in one hand, and the other hand fueling their mouths with bites of food in between sips of pop. Looking around, some are eating healthy salads and others junk food, while still others doing crossword puzzles as they take mouthfuls of their lunch.

Young moms trying to eat lunch while pushing strollers back and forth to keep their babies sleeping so that they themselves can have a peaceful lunch together. Then I saw a business man wolfing down his lunch as if time was of an essence. Sales assistants gobbling down food as their lunch time is ticking away. Young couples looking into each other’s eyes, taking leftovers with them probably for a snack later in the day.

Runaway children, running along the benches in the food court. I wonder if they do that at home, hmm. One of the student’s has now put his I-phone down so that he can empty his food tray into the garbage.

Student is puzzled as to what belongs to recyclables, waste only or organics; it seems he doesn’t speak English.

Still others sit down and take time to download their messages on their phones, in case they have missed something since they stepped inside the mall – a few moments ago.  Then I spotted a bookworm who managed to pull out a large book out of a small purse, spectacles on, she has now entered her cave.

Ladies share their purchases with each other as if they had found a priceless treasure of long ago. All around there is a ballet performance happening of jaws moving to the mall music as lunch is being devoured.

Two young girls sharing their iPhone photos, almost falling of their seats with laughter. Time for the large family to disperse, leaving Grandpa and son for a heart to heart talk. Down the way a very large man finished up his hamburger washed down by an oversized pop – wonder if he’s heading to the gym after this.

Politics over, the seniors are leaving, I’m sure if I come back tomorrow, it would be same time, same place, perhaps even the same checkered shirts.

Crossword puzzle has been folded nicely to the size of postcard and tucked inside the lady’s purse, now to wander the mall with coffee in hand; did she cut that crossword out of the newspaper? Hmm.

What’s with these bushy beards that the young men are touting these days? It makes me wonder what’s hibernating inside there or maybe food drippings unbeknown to them. Then there are those people wandering around with trays of food in their hands, indecisive as to where they are going to sit. Meanwhile the fries are getting cold and who wants to eat cold fries anyways?

Many lonely people, where do they all come from?

An older gentleman has just finished his mile high fries and is carefully inspecting his beard to make sure that there are no “seconds” attached to his “fuzz”.

Now to read the newspaper while his digestive system gets in gear to process all that fat that came down the pipe. Newspaper is rolled up and put in back pocket of jeans and gentleman makes a move and disappears off to wherever men with rolled up newspapers in back pockets go.

Others are so engrossed in the lunch that they don’t even look up or seemingly take a breath. The avid bookworm with black spectacles is glued to her book and nothing seems to distract her.  That is quite an art you know, especially blocking out the blaring music of the food court.

A beanie-clad young man sits at the table next to me, ear buds in, sunglasses hanging off the neck of his t-shirt, and devours his Orange Julius hot dog, right in front of me. I wonder if he will remember eating it, it is going down so fast. Well, it’s all gone now, his tummy must be happy.

Now time for checking his messages on his iPhone, then leaves to pursue another adventure at the mall.

Grandma has finished her hot dog and drink, and has set off to do some serious shopping.

Some are so intently focused on their lunch, that you wonder what would happen if you tried to take it away!

Better not!

Vera Lloyd, Langley



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