It was a swanky restaurant frequented by the nouveau riche and old money alike, in the middle of that very fancy mall. There was a waitlist at the front-desk, with the maitre d’hotel trying to optimize table assignment, while serving complimentary drinks to appease the ones waiting.
A family of very well dressed guests occupied the corner table, possibly reserved for regulars. One could see they were at home, for they conducted themselves with poise and yet managed to keep the hotel staff at their beck and call.
The spectacle was enjoyable, for little does one get the chance to observe such dignified richness in these times of the ostentatious.
That is when I noticed Her. She didn’t seem to belong with them, but was hovering near the table, carrying a beautiful little baby boy swathed in velvets. A chair was brought in and placed next to the table. The lady of the family indicated the chair to Her, while continuing a possibly important conversation with the rest of the family.
She sat there, holding the baby in Her arms, clucking softly in hopes of putting him to sleep. When that didn’t work, She walked around, always near the table, in order to placate the child and make it a fun evening for him. Eventually, he decided to reward Her patience, and conceded to sleep, with a smile on his face. She seemed relieved as She set him down in his pram and walked back to her designated seat near the table.
As She sat down, She realized there was nowhere to look, for She had been taught as a child that it was uncouth to look at people while they ate. She bent down and started staring intently at her callus-ridden palms, while the regal family continued its dinner in peace, speaking in grave tones, about issues of possibly great social importance.