Like a deer caught in linguistic headlights.
Thankfully it wasn't us in the hot seat, but we were next to it. We've all been on the receiving end of one of these quizzes done by a distant relative, a casual acquaintance or just the nosy quizzy Lizzy residing in villages, apartment blocks, offices and churches everywhere.
What one wouldn't dare ask, the Lizzy's of the world rejoice in posing and not giving up until an answer is given. Usually grudgingly and desperately cloaked in verbal decoys.
Bob and I happened to be at the Chinese restaurant for lunch yesterday and for some reason they were packed to the rafters. Imagine, in the backwaters of Oberwart waiting in line for a table? Usually only done in N.Y. At one point we wanted to go home hungry but just then the waitress found us a seat at the table of a woman there with her toddler daughter. Fair enough, but close enough too.
Guarding our table with the ferocity of a hungry lion, we went to the buffet in relays. Behind us the next lot were queuing already. The woman next to us returned with a plate for her daughter and one for herself, when a quizzy Lizzy from her social environment appeared next to her chair.
Can one call it eavesdropping if people talk at the top of their voice? No, I think not. Well, Bob and I were privy to a long and often monologue-ish dialogue of the women being grilled ever so nicely and sweetly by this Lizzy. Goodness, for the entirety of our meal, it continued. Luckily the young woman's plate only held sushi, as there is nothing worse than cold sweet and sour chicken.
The Lizzy's of this world are usually rather throurough and this one even delved into the ins and outs of a recent divorce. Yikes, she carried on like a steam roller and wouldn't let go. Is nothing private anymore?
I kid you not, this carried on for at least twenty minutes and just before she thought it prudent to return to her own table ( where her own kids were waiting for her ) she asked this young woman for her phone number...in order to have casual coffee etc. One could almost feel the reluctance but this Lizzy was sharp enough to persist in her own number being put in other's phone there and then. Almost ingenious...and for us, never a dull day.