Sitting down to dinner with the love of your life is usually a very pleasant event, but it ain’t necessarily so…
It was the Monday evening after this year’s MotoGP event, and we were in one of the Italian restaurants in the coastal township of Cowes situated on Phillip Island in Victoria. The waiter seated us next to a family of three, and as we waited for our meal to arrive we couldn’t help but overhear the conversation sprouting forth from the group.
The topic centred on a girl the son was interested in, and the father was talking so loudly that it was impossible to ignore him. From this obnoxious buffoon came a flood of verbal diarrhoea, much in the manner of male prejudice towards females.
Apparently the girl of interest was pretty, but in the son’s judgement was carrying a bit of excess weight, and he didn’t know how to tell her.
The father’s wisdom came in statements like “She’s intelligent, she’d understand that you’re only trying to help her”, while the mother suggested the son offer the advice in the form of a “love sandwich”.
She advised her son to tell the girl how pretty she was, then suggest she join him for walks because it would be good for her health, and then talk about how much better she’d look with a little less weight on board.
We were gob smacked.
Today’s shallow society is very much tied up with personal appearance, and obtaining a “trophy” partner seems to be a priority in the minds of many. One need only look at the Australian cricket team to see the Barbie Doll blondes hanging from each player’s arm.
The whole concept is abhorrent.
To hear the father giving this sexist advice was bad enough, but to hear the mother offer the same stuff was truly amazing.
My girlfriend listened intently, and as the parents sprouted their evil advice it was all I could do to stop her from offering some advice of her own. She told me there wouldn’t be many girls who are completely happy with everything about themselves, and that every woman has a concern with some part of their body or appearance. She added that to be told you’re fat by some male friend would be devastating.
The group discussed the issue for a while until the father steered the conversation to the son’s career prospects by stating ” You should get into Psychology, because you’re interested in people”.
After that the talk was about travel interspersed with the father shouting out to the waiter “A glass of your finest Shiraz! I’ll leave the choice up to you Massimo”. His attempts at Italian conversation were pitiful if not totally embarrassing.
The talk somehow turned towards the name of the restaurant, which has the word “Capri” in the title, with the father saying his favourite island was Amalfi, whilst the mother talked about how beautiful the island of Greece was.
Sure, there are islands nearby, Capri included, but Amalfi isn’t an island. Neither is Greece.
We finished our meal, and as we got up to leave my girlfriend couldn’t help offering a comment to no one in particular, saying, “Well I’d better leave now, I weigh … kg” (I won’t state the number, because I’m a gentleman).
I missed what happened next, but my girlfriend said both mother and son had looks of complete shock on their faces. They’d just realised how loudly they’d been talking.
The father, however, was oblivious, staring blankly into his glass of “the finest Shiraz”.
As we left it seemed he was trying to connect the few remaining neurons in his brain in order to gain sufficient mental capacity to create some new thought, and no doubt regale the whole world with another of his erudite opinions on life.
The walk back to our accommodation in the cool evening air was very pleasant, made even more so as we entertained ourselves by parodying what we’d experienced at dinner.
We’re going back next year for dessert…