Friday, July 06, 2007

The Woman Who Came to Dinner

I met some nice people at the wine tasting this afternoon. One was a teacher from Orlando, FL who looks like a young version of my friend Betty J. The other couple are from a small town in north central PA – I think they said Wellsboro. I had never heard of it. They indicated it was north of Williamstown and is known for its Victorian houses. Three years ago they purchased one of these old Victorians which they are now restoring. They travel a great deal on Amtrak and have seen a lot of changes. They tell us that the Empire Builder is trying to win back business by improving service, but apparently it is still a far cry from the golden days. They have gotten on in Albany so we will be seeing a lot of each other.

I chose the 5:00 pm dinner reservation which is listed as 6:00 pm because we are supposed to be in Central Time by then. I meet a couple from Mississippi and am looking forward to a leisurely dinner getting to know these people. But guess who shows up and ruins it.

Mrs. Landingham again dominates the conversation with all of her worldly knowledge and her insatiable need to impress the Mississippi folk. They are a sweet couple who are making their first trip. I think it must be their first trip out of Mississippi and the poor things clearly suffer from a poor education. The wife does most of the talking and is in awe of pretty much everything she has seen on the trip. I feel good that they are out there doing things, but Mrs. L is starting to embarrass them. There is a conversational thread that centers on the settlement of various ethnic groups in Arizona where Mrs. L lives. She notes that “Basques have settled there” and the Mississippi people think she is talking about “bass.” It would have been funny if it hadn’t been so cruel, particularly when she asks the woman if she ever reads.

We can’t get to Minneapolis fast enough. Mrs. Landingham is getting off there. If not, I’m throwing her off.

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