Zack and I went to Bass Hall tonight to see a piano concert.
When we sat down in our seats, we landed next to an old lady who was hell bent on talking to everyone around her. Zack begrudgingly wound up right next to her (as opposed to having me sit beside her), and she immediately started asking him questions.
Stranger Chit-Chat is one of Zack’s least favorite things in the world. He gets disgruntled when I’m too friendly with strangers. This is unfortunate because I tend to start up conversations with grocery store cashiers, people in line with me, and, oh, just about everyone else that I make eye contact with in the public arena. Well, I used to, anyway. I’ve drastically reduced the number of strangers I converse with in public because of two reasons: 1.) Zack and his constant reminders about Stranger Danger, and 2.) Zack and his constant eye-rolling and quiet growling. He audibly groans at me when he hears a person say something that he knows would usually trigger a reply from me. The groan, roughly translated means, PLEASE PLEASE OH MY GOD PLEASE DO NOT START TALKING TO THOSE STRA…. DAMN IT.
So, in short, Zack and I sat down next to an Arts-Loving 75 year-old version of me.
It didn’t take long for Old Me to get distracted (another similarity!) and leave Zack alone. Soon enough the lights dimmed and the concert began. Zack and I ooched to our left 1 seat to give him a little bit of a buffer on his right side.
Old Me got up to go to the restroom during intermission. After she left, Zack leaned over to me and whispered that he was so glad we were able to move seats, because any more time next to Chatty Cathy and he was going to scratch his eyeballs out. Not long after that Old Me/Chatty Cathy came back to our area. She walked past our row to the row in front of us, then began systematically introducing herself to everyone on the row.
“Hi, I’m Betty Skank from Denton,” she said to the lady right in front of me.
Zack and I stole a very telling, but silent, glance at each other.
As she introduced herself again, the A in her name replaced itself with the rightful vowel, an I. “Hi, I’m Betty Skink from Denton,” she said to the next person in the row.
When she was done with that row she walked across the aisle, moving away from us. Zack and my communication changed from palm-shielded glances to under-the-breath whispers.
“I THOUGHT SHE SAID HER NAME WAS BETTY SKANK!” I whispered through gritted teeth.
“SHE DID,” Zack whispered. It was the most empathic whisper ever whispered in the history of the world.
I said, “No, she said SKINK, not SKANK. I misheard her the first time.”
He said, “That’s not a whole lot better.”
Then the lights went down again, saving the both of us from having to make eye contact with Betty Skank from Denton. I have no doubt that Zack will try to apply this story as a life lesson in the future. I can’t wait until he tries to make a Stranger Chit Chat situation less awkward by saying, “HEY BETTY SKANK, SHHHHHH.”