People watching at the burger joint

I sat at MacDonald yesterday, gobbling up a quick lunch of nuggets and French fries to gulps of diet coke.  This is not the usual – just had to satisfy a sudden hunger while shopping for the best buys at Walmart.  Up to now, I tell some friends that store offers considerable discounts on certain items that are of quality.  Some of them look at me like I’m kooky.  I don’t want to push, but if they take up my suggestion, they’ll see that I wasn’t exaggerating.

Anyway, while sitting at MacDonald at the end of the wide store corridor, I delighted in watching people go by – a pastime that I sometimes indulge in, especially when there’s no one to converse with.  I noted grandparents with little kids in tow; mothers pushing baby carts while their husbands looked bored and chose to sit inside the burger joint; youths, probably students from the nearby community college, poring over sales before proceeding home; teen lovers holding hands as though strolling in the moonlight; men hurriedly unloading cartful of groceries perhaps trying to make it home before dinner preparation.  But my attention was particularly caught by a two-year old toddler yelling “Lola, Lola” beside me.  I looked up to look for the Lola (Grandma), only to see her parents and big brother who seemed too mature for his young age.  Where was the Lola?  Could that be the reason why the toddler kept calling for her.  Likely, the Lola opted to stay home to either ready the next meal or watch the house, or just rest for that day. Wouldn’t it be splendid for that toddler if her Lola was with the family, delighting on a juicy burger sandwich and salted fries, with the little one grabbing some of those slender slices?

I busied myself with my food, didn’t want to be too nosy.  The little girl stopped yelling just as the father said, “Let’s pray first”.  The four in the family bowed their heads, including the little girl, and proceeded to thank the Father for the meal.  How refreshing it was to witness that in a crowded public place, where most just rush to their food, and children hurriedly explore their happy meal without a thought of being thankful for the treat.  I imagine that little girl mumbled her “amen”, and I felt the urge to say it, too.  That was one of my most satisfactory MacDonald visits.  I felt really good … no, not just because of my warm, crispy nuggets and salty fries.  That young family made me feel good … and they didn’t even know it.

After the prayer, the little girl calmly nibbled on her bread.  No more yelling “Lola”.  I just wondered … did “Lola” mean, let’s pray?  Lolas usually say that before meals, don’t they?  I do.

Or, was she calling me?  Did I look like a Lola to her?

Linda P. Jacob

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