About two weeks ago, on a Thursday evening, JoJo and I took her aunt and her aunt’s “gentleman friend” out to dinner at a local catfish joint. It’s a very popular place in the Sherman/Denison area here in Texas. It’s behind a liquor store and distillery. If you’re local, you’ll know which one that I’m talking about.
This was during a week when we were trying to spend more time with friends and family and socialize. We lead a nighttime schedule due to JoJo’s job, and we’re homebodies anyway, so we wanted to make sure that our loved ones knew that we were still alive and we do actually care about them.
So, we get in the car and go to pick up JoJo’s aunt and her “gentleman friend” and headed out to the catfish place. JoJo and I carried on, talking and interacting with each other and her aunt and the “gentleman friend”, acting like we normally do. We drive on over to the restaurant, wait for “GF” to check his blood sugar, and we roll up into the restaurant.
Oh. It’s important to know that this dinner date was taking place at four-thirty in the goddamn afternoon. We’re eating dinner when most people are having an afternoon snack or having tea. Old folks gotta eat early, ya’ know.
So, of course, we got a table really quick and without incident.
We sit down, JoJo and I are carrying on, acting like uncivilized weirdos, and her Aunt and the “GF” just watch and nod along, listening to all of our bullshit. Then JoJo and her Aunt start talking about something, so my attention drifted. I noticed a little ole meemaw and peepaw sitting a few tables away. They were eating their catfish and sides and carrying on an animated conversation as if they were on their first date. It was sweet.
I pointed them out to JoJo, and whispered: “I hope we’re old and cool like that one day.” JoJo snorted and said: “If you’ve got a boner for old folks, look around.”
Every. single. table. was packed with old folks. We were practically eating dinner at 4:30 in the afternoon at a nursing home.
There was no one younger than 65 in that whole joint at 4:45 in the afternoon. And every few minutes, a weird ringing sound would go off.
It was dinner time at the Old People Corral and shit was getting lit. These folks were doing their daily congregation for catfish eatin’ and JoJo and I were interlopers. If we hadn’t brought old folks with us, we surely would have had to fight the old folks in a Jets versus Sharks type musical number battle. Which, when you think about it, would have been absolutely awesome.
“What is that weird ringing?” I leaned over to whisper-ask JoJo.
“Everybody in here has a goddamn Jitterbug and can’t hear them.” She whispered back. “Eat your chicken fried steak and try not to draw attention to yourself. These people will sense your youth and try to Dementor-kiss you and steal your soul.”
So…I ate my chicken fried steak and made conversation with JoJo and our own pair of old folks. And…we left the rest of the old folks to their daily early dinners.
Once we dropped off JoJo’s Aunt and her “GF” and were on our way to the store–I mean, the day was just starting for us–I turned to JoJo and said, “Your Aunt and her gentleman friend weren’t that talkative.”
“They just like to listen and to siphon off our youth. They depend on us to entertain them and be crazy.”
“Well shit.” I replied “I was toning it down as to not offend them. I’ll make sure to pepper what I say with more curse words next time we go to the Old Folks Corral.”
I still hope that JoJo and I are a cool old married couple having dinner together and acting like we just met in 20 years time…but I refuse to buy a jitterbug and eat dinner at 4:30pm on a regular basis.
Until next time…