I’m standing in line at D’Angelo’s, waiting to place my order. Directly in front of me is a husband and wife who look remarkably alike. Both are about five feet tall, shaped like eggplants, and wearing brown and olive green. But most surprising is their eyeglasses, distinctive in that they match their wardrobe and seem more suited for three generations ago in terms of styling.
And even more notable than the glasses’ considerable nod to the 1970s is that they are identical matches. In fact, their identical eyeglasses first drew my attention away from my iPhone and onto them. You don’t often see a man and woman wearing duplicate eyeglasses.
The two placed their order, and then the woman sat down while the man waited for their order to be called. A few minutes later, a middle-aged sandwich maker called, “Number 114! 114!”
She waited a moment, scanned the area in front of the counter, saw the brown and olive eggplant, and said, “Sir, aren’t you and your wife #114?”
“Wife?” he asked. “That’s my mom.”
I then watched the sandwich-maker begin to back-pedal like it was an Olympic event, throwing out every excuse in the book to cover her faux pas. As she attempted to extricate herself from her embarrassment, I took another look at this man and realized that he could very well have been fifteen years old. Or thirty years old. There was no way to tell.
He had a large ring of keys hanging from his belt, seeming to imply ownership of a car, house, shed, and safe deposit boxes. But his forehead was also spotted with pimples, indicating an ongoing battle with puberty. He was wearing loafers, making him look old, but he was also donning a cheap digital watch, making me wonder. One minute, I was convinced he was a kid; the next, I was sure he was an adult.
How rotten it must be to appear both fifteen and thirty simultaneously, at least to me and one sandwich-maker, who I laughed at once the poor kid had returned to his mom.
And how rotten it must be to look so much like your short, frumpy, identical-eyeglass-wearing mother.
What a great character for me to develop someday.