People Watching

A group of young girls sit at the table, giggling and laughing to themselves. They cluster around one girl in particular – the Birthday Girl. Her identity is as clear as day, she is the centre of attention and today is her day. Presents litter the tables, the wrappings discarded on the quest to find out the identity of the gift, each one is more pretty than the last. She is enjoying the attention, enjoying being the queen bee, at least for today. From her excitement at being fawned over, I would guess she isn’t the resident queen bee. Ah, the usual leader of this particular clique sits in the corner, observing the commotion. She is loathe to relinquish her power, even for a day, and conveys this by sitting on the sidelines – a classic display of clique dynamics.

Two young men, students, sit together at a table for two, perusing the menu. They are dressed in sportswear; perhaps they have just been for a run, or to the gym? They both seem uncomfortable in the setting of the café, but I can’t seem to work out why. Are they embarrassed by their clothing choices, perhaps they feel that they are a little under dressed for the occasion?  They seem to be healthy guys, unusual for the typical student. It is possible they could be training for something, although that is just an obvious guess. They order water to drink, and fill up on bowls of salad before their main meal arrives. Their main meal arrives, a juxtaposition to their attire and glasses of water – a pizza. It is a large pizza, complete with a crust stuffed with cheese, loaded with deliciously fatty toppings. To me, a humble onlooker I surmise that the pizza is a futile effort to seem macho, or manly. Cynical, yes I know, however their frequent self-conscious glances give weight to my theory.

Our waiter, or server, whatever you wish to call him, is an eager chap. He is tall, broad and dare I say it, slightly rugged in appearance. Such an appearance makes him seem quite out of place here. I fancy that he should be outdoors somewhere, chopping down trees, teaching people to rock climb on the face of a cliff, or even building something. And yet, here he is waiting on customers, eager to cater to their every need, an attitude of someone who hasn’t been on the job long I would wager. He is a pleasant enough guy, helpful and I hope the more experience he gleans from the job, in particular in the form of irate, unreasonable customers, doesn’t dampen his kind nature.

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