A Friday night attempt to see the movie Selma proved to be fruitless after parking spaces and tickets were all taken. With a gift card initially purchased for someone who didn’t receive it, we decided to hop over the parking lot in the Hoover, Alabama area to the sports bar Twin Peaks. I shall not dwell much into the attire of the scantily clad (complete with sparkly necklaces) servers, but will say they were all quite pleasant, and having televisions ALL around the room, including at our table, and the barbecue nachos made for a surprisingly delightful night.
While eating our food we engaged in a bit of eavesdropping with the five gentlemen in the booth behind us. Not intentional, and certainly by default as their voices rose while the elixir flowed, we would later find out that they ranged in age from 23-38, which explains what I’m about to share.
The topic of their conversation started about, guess what, women. The 23-year-old was lamenting (i.e. a bit bitter) about a jilted relationship complete with trips out-of-town to visit his unrequited love, Ugg boots and “anything she wanted to feel special”. Obviously that wasn’t enough for her, and his friends held back nothing to let him know. Being enticed all the more to tune in to what was being shared, we devoured nachos and fried pickles just quietly enough to access the varying views about love, sex, men and women, God, dating, work, who used to work at Hooters, but is now at Twin Peaks. Their thoughts, feelings, and emotions were so casually, freely, and loudly shared, especially as the “baby boy” as he shall be unknowingly called, and the “Scripture boy” as he shall be named intertwined in a conversation as heated as the spicy chicken fingers about what the Bible says about sex, and what Ephesians 5 says about submission. Wanting a “second opinion” of sorts, one of them decided to turn and ask our opinion. Knowing we were already secretly privy to all that had already been shared, we shared our opinions as women more than twice some of the ages. That lead to the embarking on of a few minutes of enlightening, fun, funny, eyebrow raising, reflective, wisdom sharing, gasp-filled, different perspective offering and yes, funny again conversation with these strangers.
We learned one of them was from Africa, grew up in the Ensley Brickyards (the old one, not the new fangled fancy one) and was proud of that. We further learned that the 23-year-old was still hurting from being kicked to the curb. We learned one of them goes to church in Midfield, has never drank and has a sly sense of humor sprinkled with a bit of “holiness” as he said. We learned the quite one in the corner (who just so happened to be of another race) was hilarious. We learned that “if you snooze you loose” when someone says I want to introduce you to my friend. We learned that they all wanted love, based on the stage of life they were in.
What I think I truly took home with me though, is the reminder that, in some regards men and women really are not that different from one another. All I heard, and all I just wrote about is not too far of a stretch from an evening with my girls. The thoughts, feelings, emotions, hopes, dreams, transparent conversations, heated exchanges done in love, trust of the opinions of others and embarrassing laughter only vary based on the level of treble, bass, estrogen and testosterone.
Whether it’s men and women, young and old, black and white, and everyone else in between and all around, I think the real reason we often don’t know that we’re not as different as we think we are is because we don’t take the time to talk to, laugh with, or laugh at each other (in a Friday night at Twin Peaks kind of way, of course).