I remember a lovely evening at our favorite Ethiopian restaurant. It’s located in West L.A.’s “Little Ethiopia.” Just a hop, skip and a jump from the Fairfax Orthodox Jews. Love the diversity.
At a nearby table sat a group of people. Seemingly waiting for another person to arrive before food orders decided.
He arrives. A tall, handsome black man. Everyone at the table stands. Jocularity abounds. Handshakes, hugs and laughter.
Then he and this Indian American (not to be confused with American Indian) woman embrace.
Awwww. Old friends. Maybe husband and wife. Maybe boyfriend and girlfriend? Possibly relatives?
And then they kissed. Awwww.
But then they kept on kissing. On the lips. Fiercely. Okay, so maybe they’re not relatives.
Not a peck, mind you, but a full on, as we used to say, making out. No coming up for air. Standing right there in the restaurant!
Who could look away?
Well, all of us. We had no choice as it felt like we were somehow invading their space. Although, truth be told, everyone kept sneaking a look back to see when it would actually come to an end. Or progress even further.
I was thinking it might be one of those television shows with a hidden camera. So, I quickly applied powder to my face to reduce any noticeable sheen.
The waiter, our favorite, watches with amusement while standing beside them. Waiting for the show to be over so he can get on with his job.
Finally, it ends. Whew! Forks and knives start clinking once again . Maybe even audible sighs of relief in all corners of the place.
But there’s still this uncomfortable, palpable feeling floating around like new ice needs to be broken.
And then the waiter smoothly leans in, sets their napkins down, and says in his sing-song voice,”Well! Wasn’t that a nice hello!”
I started chuckling.
This phrase will forever be embedded in my mind as synonymous words for a bit of unbridled passion.
So, today, I wish you all a nice hello. Whatever you find yourself doing. Working, playing, studying or volunteering. I hope it’s all with a nice hello.