Story Submitted by Paul:
Jean and I were out on our first date, brunch at a small cafe. I had been there before but she hadn't, and the place had posted some write-ups and clippings of its reviews on the walls. That day, it was about half-full.
When we sat down, Jean asked me, "What do you recommend here?"
I opened the menu and said, "Everything is great. It really depends on what you're in the mood for."
She said, "Okay, you're no help," then stood up and walked across the room to read one of the posted reviews. It wouldn't have been a problem, but the review happened to be posted above a booth, and the booth happened to be occupied by a family – a couple with two boys, who looked to be around five and seven. The parents sat on the inside seats.
Jean leaned over the table as if they weren't even there, without as much as an "Excuse me." The family ceased their conversation and looked up at her as she leaned over them all.
"Can we help you?" the father asked after a few moments of incredulity.
Jean said, "No thanks. I can read."
The father asked, "Would you mind? We're trying to eat."
Jean said, "Go on. I'm not stopping you. Just reading, okay?"
I stood up, feeling responsible, and tapped Jean from behind. I said, "Maybe we can read a different review, or I can recommend something specific."
She said, "In a minute."
The mother asked, "Would you please leave?"
Jean said to her, "I wasn't the one who posted this up here, so if my reading and educating myself inconveniences you, then take it up with the owner."
"What?" the father barked.
I lightly grabbed Jean's shoulders and led her away from the review. She didn't argue with me, and I mouthed, "Sorry" to the family.
When we sat back down, I asked Jean, "So what did the review say? Any recommendations?"
She said, "That stupid fucking family distracted me, so I didn't get very far."
I said, "I can recommend a few things, like the omelets or the bagels or the... Jean?"
Jean wasn't paying attention to me. She stared at the family. One of the boys stared back, then pointed at Jean. The whole family turned to look at her.
She stood up, said to them, "You know what? Kiss my ass," and left the cafe.
The father banged on the table, shoved his way out of the booth past his child, and strode after Jean. I looked down at the menu, anxious to not make eye contact with anybody.
About ten minutes later, the father came back in and returned to his family. I ordered my breakfast, and they readied to leave. I have no idea if he caught up with Jean or not, but as the family left, he was sure to tell me, "Your friend needs help."
I nodded and they exited. I texted Jean and asked her where she was, but she never responded, and I haven't heard from her from that day to this.
Story Submitted by Paul: