Whenever I have time to kill (that’s what I like to think of the time when I familiarize myself with style.com and such), I head towards my favorite cafe (it’s already been established that coffee is my one true addiction).
Unless I have company, this process is more or less defined in the following order: Go to cafe. Order coffee. Chat with the baristas, invariably bringing up the weather (especially the heat). Sit at my favorite corner table. And finally, precariously lay out my technology and start typing/ reading/ playing games (By the way, Turbo Granny is pure genius).
Most of the format has stayed the same, with the minor addition of careful eavesdropping and subtle observation.
But boy is it fun (for the record, I blame Constantin Stanislavski, who inspired me to observe people around me to become a better dramatist).
Right now, as I focus on writing this earth-shattering blog, in my periphery vision, two kind-of middle aged woman sit conversing (I’m really bad with guessing age). One is well groomed in a pink salwar kameez, colored hair and has a pair of faux- Chanel sunglasses adorning her head like a hair band (yes, once a fashion snob, always a fashion snob). The other one is bafflingly dressed in a mini skirt, fishnet stockings, and a printed sleeveless top. Oh, I shouldn’t forget the four inch black heels. Fierce.
Two more ladies join them, dressed in Indian-conservative-chic (I think I just invented a classification of sorts).
They start by speaking about the weather and quickly move on to their outfits (the woman in the skirt sheepishly tells the women how outraged her mother-in-law is over her wardrobe choice but quickly defends it (perhaps to diffuse judgment and critique) saying that life is too short. Too many Sex and the City episodes? My mind offers.).
The lady in a yellow salwar kameez starts speaking about spinning classes and a long winded conversation explodes on the (boring!) topic of weight loss programs and gym schedules. I have a feeling I was a distant source of fuel to that fire as the ladies kept glancing at me throughout (every so often one of the ladies would nod in my direction and they would comment on how easy it was when they were younger). I mentally roll my eyes at them, glad for their change of topic, one that gave me insight as to the origins of this group.
Apparently they are a part of this kitty party gang that meets at cafes. They meet monthly and invite as many people as possible (my wild guess is that their intention is less to do with good-will and more to do with good-gossip).
The lady with faux-Chanel sunglasses expresses unhappiness regarding a woman named Payal who stood them up because of prior commitments. Suddenly, the skirt lady looks up from her Blackberry and tells everyone that some guy will be joining them soon (I can’t stop myself from imagining this guy in warrior clothes), The women manage to feign a lack of interest but I can tell that they are excited about the change in group dynamics that might cause (or the drama it will create). Either way, there is a visible shift in topics thereafter. Funny how one statement can cause that. So, its not a huge surprise when they start to speak of the latest romance related gossip. I believe this is the pinnacle of their conversation as every lady is completely engrossed in the conversation, the cafe and the fervently typing young lady beside them completely forgotten…
After what seems like forever, they move on to speak about wardrobe malfunctions (the topic inspired by a tear on the cafe’s couch) and weird inner-wear (inspiring vomiting sensations in me).
They speak about common friends, kids, in-laws, travel, fashion…
Finally, the waiter/ barista comes to take their order and they make a fuss of ordering coffee as per their diet and go on to finally order frappes, croissants, muffins and a black forest cake with ice cream. Err… good call ladies!
By this time, I have to make a move (I’m not sure if I’m relieved or not).
As I throw on my pair of Aviators, I realize that over the course of half an hour, all the stereotypes have proven themselves right.
Women love gossiping.
Kind-of middle aged women (with some crisis or another) cannot stop gossiping, all the while making amazing entertainment.
And oh yea, Gossip Girl writers need to take a leaf from my book and hit their nearest local cafe (Starbucks excluded- too many business folks there).
I realize, TV has spoilt us.
We look towards the idiot box to provide gossip when all we have to do is creepily observe the people around us and eavesdrop on their conversation to enjoy prime-time entertainment. Maybe even learn a lesson or two.
Thanks Constantin for changing my cafe experience forever!
On second thought… maybe not…