Jessica Gross

Posts Tagged ‘people watcher’

“You Must Have Been Hungry!”

In musings, people watching on February 23, 2009 at 4:08 pm

My friend from pre-school (oldest friendship!) and I went to dinner at the Bar at Etats-Unis on Saturday. (Side note: delightful, but pricey. I loved my duck salad.) The bartender took a liking to us and gave us a complimentary molten chocolate cake and dessert wine at the end of the meal.

Free chocolate cake? This couldn’t be real. We looked at the cake; we looked at each other. Cake; each other. Cake. We dug in.

This cake oozed molten chocolate. I wanted to jump inside and take a swim. We finished it, scraping the plate.

The bartender came to clear our dishes and gaped at us, the gluttonous mutants, shaking his head. “Remind me not to go up against you,” he said, in mock horror.

I get comments like this at least a third of the times that I go out to eat. (My favorite, at a restaurant in DC last month: “You did such a GOOD job!” It was a sandwich.) My friend is one of the skinnier people I know, and I’m a small girl. Are waiters just baffled that a little person can actually consume food? Or is it that, in looks-conscious cities like New York and DC, it’s unusual to find any female finishing her dish?

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Backpacks.

In people watching on September 19, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Since elementary school, I’ve been a fan of the backpack. (In fifth grade, I even sported the uni-shoulder look, until my second-grade brother adopted it and usurped my coolness.) I saw swarms of children festooned with these dorky sacks on a run this morning. My heart swelled. Then I saw the offender: the backpack on wheels.

In my youth, the rolly backpack was a big no-no. Its use prompted wincing, even groaning. But the child doing the rolling today didn’t look outcastish. He looked like an incast, in fact — good posture, purposeful gait, spiffy clothes. His presentation said, “Yeah, I’m a seven-year-old with a rolly backpack. What of it?”

So is the backpack-on-wheels in vogue these days? Or does it just take an overconfident child to make it legit?