Day 439: Bonds

Yesterday’s post ended with a bond.  James Bond.

There are many different types of Bonds, aren’t there?


(I found that image here.)

THIS post, however, is about Interpersonal Bonds, which I observed, last night, forming in a room.

While regular readers of this blog might imagine those bonds forming among people in a  group therapy room, they were actually created …

… at a restaurant.

Here’s what happened.

Last night, Michael and I went out to dinner, at a restaurant I like very much. We had to wait, a little while, for a table.

Once they seated us, our relief quickly turned to other feelings, because the people sitting next to us were loud. REALLY loud.

To use two words from yesterday’s post — Double O — one person, especially, seemed obstreperous and obnoxious.

And I noticed many people bonding, because of this.  Michael and I immediately bonded with our waiter, joking about how quickly he might give that table the check.

Every time I looked around the room, I saw people reacting to the outbursts and connecting with each other, in different ways.  A woman, seated in a corner on the other side of the room, caught my eye several times and communicated, non-verbally, her feelings.

Because I’m sensitive to sound, I reacted involuntarily when the Loud Guy spoke.  “Spoke” doesn’t describe it, actually.  Every time he expressed a thought, he bellowed, blared, blustered, and brayed.

Many feelings were there in the room: fear, anger, and yearnings that the Loud Guy would go away, as soon as possible. So, when he put on his coat and left the restaurant, somebody actually applauded, even though some of his companions had remained behind.

The woman from the corner came over to our table, to bond with Michael and me about our feelings. I saw several strangers communicating across tables, joking about their relief.

Then, the Loud Guy returned.  And, all those old feelings came back into the room with him, including disappointment.

Soon after the Return of The Brayer, Michael needed to excuse himself. He said,  “I hate to leave you with this, baby,” because I — out of everybody else in the restaurant — was closest to the noise.

But, at that point,  I wasn’t afraid to be left alone. Why? Because I had realized, by then, that it wasn’t so much what the Loud Guy was saying. It was  the VOLUME, which was upsetting us all.

Then, the Loud Guy yelled something  that amazed me.

Don’t you LOVE Dorothy Parker?

And I DO love Dorothy Parker, so I turned toward him.  He repeated, this time directly to me:

Don’t you LOVE Dorothy Parker?

I nodded and answered, “Yes.” He said:

Didn’t Dorothy Parker say THE BEST THINGS?

And again, I simply told the truth. “She did.”  Because, dear readers, here are some of the things Dorothy Parker said (from’s Top 20 Quotes of Dorothy Parker):

1. I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true.

2. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.

3. You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks.

4. I’m never going to accomplish anything; that’s perfectly clear to me. I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don’t do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that any more.

5. I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound — if I can remember any of the damn things.

6. Four be the things I’d have been better without: Love, curiosity, freckles and doubt.

7. I require only three things of a man. He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid.

8. Take care of luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.

9. Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.

10. The two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘cheque enclosed.’

11. The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

12. It serves me right for keeping all my eggs in one bastard. (Said when leaving hospital after an abortion).

13. All I need is room enough to lay a hat and a few friends.

14. I like to have a martini, Two at the very most. After three I’m under the table,after four I’m under my host.

15. Ducking for apples — change one letter and it’s the story of my life

16. I’ve never been a millionaire but I just know I’d be darling at it.

17. If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.

18. When asked to use the word horticulture during a game of Can-You-Give-Me-A-Sentence, Parker replied: You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.

19. Of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Parker said: “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

20. I’ve been too fucking busy – or vice versa. (in response to a letter from her editor asking for more stories during her honeymoon)

Here’s something I want to point out: While Dorothy Parker used the “F-word” above (as I did, recently, in this post) … the Loud Guy never did, last night.

When Michael returned to our table, I said, “Guess who I had a bonding moment with?”  And Michael — who is an excellent guesser — got it right, first shot.

One more thought, before I end this post. Earlier in the evening, I said to Michael, “I hope this guy can inspire me to speak louder, with less fear about making too much noise.”

Thanks to Dorothy Parker, to loud people everywhere, and to you — of course! — for bonding here, today.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “Day 439: Bonds

  1. Why didn’t a staffer at the restaurant politely tell the booming one: “Sir, may you cut the volume a tad? Your voice really carries well across the restaurant?” I mean, it was their business, surely, to keep the majority of the diners happy.

    I’m glad you had a Parker moment with the man, Ann, as well as non-verbal shared exasperation with others.

    • Mark, thank you for your comment, which as usual, makes me think.

      Michael — who has worked at several restaurants — and I talked about the behavior of the staff while this was going on. Michael’s perspective was this: it’s a very tricky situation. My guess is that if somebody at the other tables had requested it, the staff would have done something. We could have said something, too, to the Loud Guy. Indeed, after my interaction with him, I was considering doing that very thing. However, somehow, he didn’t seem quite so loud to me, after that.

      • I think the staff obviously knew he was bothering other diners, what with all that non-verbal communication going on. It’s less awkward for them to approach the Loud Guy than it would be for a fellow diner, I think. But MIchael is right. Tricky. Very tricky, Ann.

      • Here’s another factor that I didn’t mention, Mark. Perhaps everybody was able to tolerate the distress because the food was so great!

      • Yes, an added determinant, indeed, Ann.

  2. I always worry about my volume, because I’m naturally loud – but once a month the Divas and I have dinner (monthly girls dinner) and we always feel sorry for those next to us, we spend the night laughing and talking over each other – it’s how we show love! And we always pull our servers in to play along, and frequently, those at tables next to us! So, while I’m aware that we probably disturb a few meals, it is never done maliciously – always done unintentionally!
    And, on the flip side, the few times I’ve been the one having my meal disturbed, I’ve found that it’s usually myself that needs the attitude adjustment – not them. I have discovered that it is usually triggering an issue I have, and when I recognize that, it is much easier to be accommodating and forgiving of the disturbance!

  3. Oh, what a lovely story, that turned out quite exciting! I am so glad you and he ‘had a moment!’ He must either have a boisterous personality or possibly a hearing loss? I am sure that we are all curious as to which Bond man it was? Can’t you reveal this to us? I happen to not like Sean Connery as a person, but love his depiction and suave, dark and good looks while younger. I found out when I was working as a Child Advocate at a Battered Women’s Shelter, a famous list of men who have been rather rough on their partners. I did not enjoy hearing that he chose an Asian woman because they are more respectful (and implied, obedient) to men. But c’est la vie! There were no reported abuses, just misbehaviors on his part.

    • Thanks for your stories, too. I think my writing may have misled you here: I didn’t encounter a Bond in the restaurant, just a local Loud Guy. I think alcohol was definitely playing a part in the scene I described.

  4. It is annoying sometimes when it is too loud on the restaurant. This is probably as he is. Still you had something in common with him and seem then not to mind so much. We judge very easily and probably just asking him to turn the volume down might have been enough. No one on the restaurant was courageous enough though. We live and learn. Shame you didn’t meet Bond, I parked behind his car the Austin Martin the other day. (wasn’t his though) shame 😊

  5. I love Dorothy Parker too! Her sense of humour was something else but she was a great short story writer too. You should definitely read this

  6. Haha this is so good– and not just for the amazing quotableness. It’s pretty incredible when you start bonding like that over some collectively perceived annoyance or disturbance. But then when the subject of your (mild) loathing has to turn everything on it’s head and bond with you? That’s a bloggable moment right there.

  7. The quotes are all gems!

  8. Pingback: Loud people who don’t care can ruin a meal | markbialczak

  9. Ann, your restaurant story and our back-and-forth inspired me to write this post today.
    Thank you.

  10. Oh I love the comment about Ayn Rand — I’d never heard it before! Thanks!

  11. marthakeimstlouis

    Reblogged this on Marthakeimstlouis’s Blog and commented:
    mentions my heroine, Dorothy Parker. Hooray! I thought everyone who’d read her was dead.

    • Thanks for the re-blog! I am honored. And as you can see in my post, at least two more non-dead people are reading Dorothy Parker.

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