Monday, January 17, 2011

The Worth of Eavesdropping

I became an eavesdropper yesterday, shamelessly so. We stopped for lunch in a small Texas town that has one of the best barbecue spots ever. Big smokers are the outside decor and the line for food begins outdoors, too. You order whatever meat you want--brisket, turkey, pork, prime rib, sausage--and the man slices til you tell him to stop. He then slaps it on a piece of parchament paper on a tray, weighs it so they know what to charge, and sends you  inside, where you pick up the side dishes to go with your meal. To say it's good is putting it mildly.

Long tables and stools fill the dining area, so you sit with and across from strangers. We found two empty stools and prepared to dig into our barbecued brisket. A woman sitting two stools down from me had a voice that drew my attention. A definite Texas drawl, decisive, and interesting. I stole a look at her as she carried on a conversation with the couple across the table.

She was tall, large boned, maybe 20 pounds overweight. She wore a suede tailored jacket, a cowboy  style hat and long, dangly earrings that added a bit of elegance to her person. As close as I sat, it was difficult to ignore her 'almost monologue' about her life. While I ate and, yes, eavesdropped I learned a lot about her.

She had two husbands, none now. She had no family so she could live anywhere she wanted to which is why she left Montana and moved to Texas. "Fell in love with this area," she said. "Weeds nine feet high on the place I bought." "I left a hunting business in Montana--too little money and too cold." She has four guns and a hoe by the  back door to keep the snake population down. At that point, I vowed never to visit this woman!

She didn't run cattle, as it takes too much investment to begin with. She was considering keeping one steer so she could have meat in her freezer later on. She chattered on and on, while the couple listening to her made occasional comments.

I took another look at her, and noticed her extremely lovely  complexion. The woman could have been a model for face creams. I watched in fascination  as her earrings swung to and fro during her chatter.

The worth of this little eavesdropping session is that I found someone who can and probably will be a character in a story someday. I know I won't forget her, but I want to write down the details. Later on, some things might easily be forgotten. Eavesdroppers sometimes run into treasure like this.

The brisket was every bit as good as we'd remembered, so a good lunchtime stop all round.


  1. Funny, I wonder who was listening to her??? Any feedback on that person?

  2. It was a couple who were in their early 60's, I think. They were being polite but I'm not sure they were enjoying the woman's nonstop talking. :)