A quirky morning at a breakfast place in Atlanta

Have you ever walked to a glass wall thinking it’s the exit, and bumped your head to full alertness and chagrin? I have, just yesterday. Luckily, the glass didn’t break – and I was not hurt.

That happened after a hearty breakfast at the bakery in a market across from my daughter’s Atlanta home. Slowly walking the vicinity and checking out adjacent stores and food take-outs, I recounted the little incidents that happened as I leisurely munched on egg and ham sandwich and sipped mocha latte richly topped with cream. What seemed like an uneventful morning turned out to be a very interesting hodgepodge of amusing occurrences. Proof that nothing is uninteresting or dull. Trivial, maybe, but with quirky significance.

Upon waking up that morning, I decided on a short trek to the square building that housed the market across the street. My goal was to buy breakfast from the bakery. Wearing slippers and a ruffled blouse didn’t bother me. No one knew me there anyway. A long line fronted the counter where food orders were made. Someone called my attention from the line, a young man I had met and been introduced to by my daughter the night before. He operated the fast food store two corridors away. Nice, he remembered me, and introduced me to the girl with him – as the Mom of one of his store’s frequent customers. My second day in Atlanta, and someone recognized me after half a minute of introduction and chat. I wasn’t even with my daughter that time. Quite impressive. Perhaps because I had a quizzed look as I checked the list of food offerings, the girl with that young man volunteered descriptions of food sold at that take-out place, and emphasized that the egg sandwich was the best. So egg sandwich it was, and I didn’t regret it, remembering the indecision about what to eat when I walked to the market. Life does get easier when you get unexpected “little helpers” that churn speed into the decision process and make it less daunting. Especially when you’re hungry!

Half way through my mocha latte, a female in her 20’s approached me and asked if I was Molly. She and her two friends eating at the far corner were obviously waiting for a Molly they hadn’t met. Quietly, I said no, wondering what Molly was being waited for. Ten minutes later, that same female popped up from her seat and approached a tall, slender, smartly dressed lady in six-inch pumps waiting for her coffee and asked the same question. The response was a snotty no. Five minutes later, the coffee maker announced the name Molly for her order ready on the counter. Quickly, the same female got up to meet that Molly, a girl in her late teens maybe. A brief chat ensued, and that Molly hurried away, as most customers did after picking up their order. Only this one seemed more than perplexed, almost annoyed.

Then walked in an older blonde lady dressed conservatively in black who ordered her expresso. The inquiring female glanced her way, and then turned back to her conversation with her two friends. When that lady got her coffee, she looked around as though trying to decide whether she should sit down on one of the benches. At that point, the inquiring female walked to her and pitched out the reprise (can you guess?), “Are you Molly?” The lady beamed as though in relief, and was led to the small group huddled in the corner. This was a business meeting obviously, because laptops opened up, and each of the three formally shook the older lady’s hand. My curiosity tempted me to sit closer and eavesdrop -– maybe a business start-up, maybe a new class, maybe a how-to teach-in … that was very interesting to me – this lady, a baby boomer in my estimate, speaking to eager young adults who looked like they were in their 20’s. That set me thinking – if I’m to meet someone new that I hadn’t seen before, wouldn’t it be wise to ask for some description of appearance or attire? I may not have been the first to be interrogated, “Are you Molly”. I could have been the tenth or 12th in the parade of female customers that ambled in to the breakfast place.

After breakfast, I passed a beverage store and craved so badly to have a diet soda. My better sense and healthier self stopped me.  As I gazed longingly to my right, mindlessly I dragged my feet to what I thought was an open door – bam! Stunned, but no big head bumping, thank God. Simply a slight one. And an embarrassment that quickly dissipated because no one was looking, so I thought. Blame that diet soda and that quirky question whirling in my head, “Are you Molly?”. I’m still craving the soda as I write this blog, and wondering who Molly was to those three young women.

Have you ever thought that sometimes you’re looking for someone you hadn’t met and that someone passes before your eyes, but you don’t recognize that person until an invisible tap on your shoulder says and points, that’s the one. And sometimes, you think you’ve found that someone you’re looking for, and it turns out that isn’t the one. A phenomenon not common and not rare, but it happens. So, what’s the point? Hmmm … I don’t know …

Linda P. Jacob