Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome to the Liars Table

So I went back to work today after two wonderful weeks off. I had two meetings, both of which were long. My total time to work in my classroom today?? About 40 minutes. In that short time, I was able to move student desks and make a couple of copies. After work, I went to the ENT for a checkup. All's well on the ear, nose, and throat front. The only bad news is that my hearing isn't bad enough to warrant a hearing aid. I believe this is the beginning of God's healing in this area. I'll keep you updated to my progress!

But on to today's blog topic: Old men eating breakfast

First, a little background. I'm a fan of breakfast, especially breakfast that is cooked and cleaned by someone else. This is interesting since when I was growing up, you'd have to hold a gun on me in order for me to eat eggs any which way. Luckily, I have grown out of this.

When I was younger, my aunt worked here in town at a local eatery....the Starkville Cafe. This restaurant is located on Main Street and is busy with its breakfast crowd and plate lunches. All kinds of people show up there. My aunt worked from 4 AM until around lunch time. She always had interesting stories to tell of the regulars that frequented the diner each morning. Her best stories were about a group of older gentlemen that ate at a table she called "The Liars Table." Apparently this was a title that the old men gave themselves. I guess they sat around and talked about fishing or the latest politics or town news. When I'd go there for lunch as a college student, I'd notice that each table or booth would seat 4 people. Except for a large table at the front. It could hold as many as 10 people. My aunt informed me that this was the Liars Table. A core group of men would show up daily and they would leave at different times, with new patrons coming in and taking emptied spots. The people changed but the conversation didn't. For the longest time, I attributed this to strictly Starkville behavior. Now that I've thought about it, I see that it's true everywhere.

When I lived in Key West, it was common for David and me (and sometimes my parents) to go out to breakfast on Saturday morning at B's restaurant. This was a nice, family owned restaurant that served the best Cuban food and breakfast sandwiches around. Sadly, it isn't there anymore. My parents went there so often that they never had to order. The waitresses all knew what they wanted and how they liked their cafe con leche. While there, I'd notice that my dad would shoot the breeze with different gentlemen that came in. Some of them sat and talked, some of them read the newspaper. All of them were old.

Sometimes during the week, I'd stop at the corner coffee stand to pick up a cafe con leche to get me going for the day. Literally, you'd walk up to what looked like a living room window on a corner store and it would open. A nice, old gentleman that spoke little English would take your order. While you waited, you could listen to the little old men in wife beaters sitting around on benches outside the window talking in rapid Spanish. It felt like they were always talking about me....but I'm paranoid so they probably weren't.

Now that I live in Starkville again, I've noticed other outcroppings of old men eating breakfast. My parents don't go to the Starkville Cafe on Saturday mornings...they go to Hardee's. And let me tell you, there are always large groups of old men sitting around and discussing the latest football game and how they'd have done it better. Sometimes, David, Raelynn and I join them. I enjoy the biscuits and gravy, not the old men's conversation. This morning, David and I went to breakfast at Huddle House before we went to work. We do that at the beginning of the school year on our professional days and again after Christmas. It's sort of our way of saying good-bye until the next long vacation. While there, we saw some old guys sitting around and leisurely eating and talking.

I think this is universal. My question is....where are the women? Are they at home in bed? Are they gathering somewhere? There are the things that I wonder about. Well....that and how to make my eggs over medium come out right. But I don't worry about it too much.....I have the nice folks at Huddle House take care of that for me.

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