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Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Norman Rockwell Moment

Downtown Minneapolis was swarming with visitors yesterday. Slow-moving, line-forming, hallway-clogging swarms. Like ants, they were!

I’m not sure what brought them in, but as long as they’re spending money, I’m okay with them invading my city.

Ahem.

If you’ve been around me for any amount of time, you will know that I am fascinated by people; and so Friday seemed to be a treat, created just for me.

The sheer number of people, of course, was not fully evident until I tried to buy lunch. It was shocking, frankly, how many people were wandering around indoors with their coats on. Normally, the lunch hour is crowded with people wearing name badges and “office attire”, rushing purposely toward food. Friday, however, the basement of Macy’s (home of many different food options) was cheek-to-jowl with people in sensible shoes loitering thoughtfully in front of one food option after another.

But my favorite tidbit from Friday?

You are acquainted with LeeAnn Chin’s, yes? Nationwide chain of what passes in the fastfood world as “Chinese food”? Too sweet, too heavy -- honestly it smells better than it tastes, although I could see craving it.

Anyway! I watched a gaggle of elderly, red-hatted women eating LeeAnn Chin’s with chopsticks. That’s not amusing in and of itself, but the fact that they clearly had never used chopsticks before was almost touching. They were quite sincere about making it work, and amidst their jostling and laughing at each other, they kept at it, eventually causing a man on his lunch hour to reach over and offer to show them how it’s done.

They took him up on it; and while I’m not sure they ever got any rice to their mouths, they did eventually manage to pick up the larger pieces of whatever they were eating.

It would've made a lovely painting.

26 comments:

Joanie M said...

Those Red Hat Society ladies sure know how to have fun!

The Retired One said...

Silly Pearl:
they knew very well how to eat with chopsticks. They were the Red Hat Society Cougar ladies, trying to pick up a HOT Minneapolis business man...
and...apparently, it WORKED!
Who says old ladies are smart?????
Ha

The Retirement Chronicles

Gadjo Dilo said...

"Slow-moving, line-forming, hallway-clogging swarms. Like ants, they were!" Reminded me of the Bob Newhart sketch when he and another are in an airplane for the first time. The other guy says something like "hey, wow, all those people down there look just like ants now!"; Bob says "they are ants, we haven't taken off yet".

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

That would be great to see, and even greater to be part of! I'm too scared to try chopsticks...well, I have, and let's just say it didn't go very well.

♥ Braja said...

I wanna red hat. And Chinese food. And a bunch of women to have lunch with :)))
xx

Under the Influence said...

I need that man to show me how to use chopsticks, too!

darsden said...

I am with Braja, I am ready too. Pearl were you the only one working on Good Friday ;-)

lisa said...

Those red hat women are a hoot. I fully intend in be one. Great friends each one of them.

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Hi Pearl,

No one ever offers to help me with chopsticks.

Next time I will act like I have no clue what I'm doing (kind of like my own experiment).

Unfortunately, I can't offer a ka-ching to the economy tree there in Minnesota but I'm doing my best, shaking it over here.

U
<

unfinishedrambler said...

I still haven't figured out chopsticks myself. The Wife has it down, though, and always says it easy. Call me an ugly American, I'll just use a fork, thank you.

The Grandpa said...

Once oin Birmingham I went inti a Chinese retaurant. When they brought the food they didn't bring any chopsticks. So I asked for some. I think the waiter nearly fell over. No American had ever asked him, he said. Then the owner came over and watched me eat with amazement on his face. Just goes to show.

Susan said...

That is just too sweet. I love the idea of painting it. I don't paint so somebody do that and send it to me. Put some Chinese food in there, too,if you will.

ladyfi said...

Brilliant! Love the eating with chopsticks scene...

Sweet Cheeks said...

If I had to eat with chopsticks...I'd die of starvation...how sad is that?
:)

We have a huge Red Hat society here! I love them!

nsiyer said...

Yet to master eating with chopsticks. Not my cup of tea. Happy Easter, Pearl.

Eskimo Bob said...

I'm shocked that you didn't know why the huge gathering in Minneapolis was for honoring St. Gustafson. It has always coincided with Good Friday.

Being from Alaska - I wasn't aware of St. Gustafson until I went to Minnesota. And then it wasn't until I visited the famous St. Olaf college that I learned about this wonderful man.

Apparently - back in 1815 he had immigrated from the Old Country - and when he came to God's Country, MN the town was filled with widows and orphans.

The men of the small village had gone out for the fabled silver streaked Pike - which would grant four and three-quarters wishes. (I didn't get it either the first time I heard it.) They had never returned.

Gustafson settled himself into town - and soon realized that he needed to help organize the chaos that was beginning to happen. - This is too long for a comment, if you really want to find out more Wikipedia St. Gustafson: here's the link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:St._Gustofson

SweetPeaSurry said...

Oh ... I love those ladies and their chopsticks. I ALWAYS use chopsticks when eating chinese. I'm not terribly good at it, but I can get to the rice! Yummo!

Greenfingers said...

Confucius say, "Man with one chopstick go very, very hungry."

Douglas said...

I was taught how to use chopsticks by a couple of bar girls in Yokosuka. Within minutes they had me picking up ice cubes for my drink from a little bowl. I don't remember much after that.

Jeanne said...

You are so fortunate -- Minneapolis is one of the few thriving downtown areas left.

Not The Rockefellers said...

Ahh...the Red Hat Society! Alive and well in New Hampshire as well. Love them!

They sang the Star Spangled Banner at a local minor league baseball game last year.

There was something about them, all together, singing their little hearts out, that choked me up! I was a puddle of tears by the end of the anthem.

Peace - Rene

'cuz I'm the mommy, that's why! said...

Aha! Chopsticks! That's what my diet needs. I'm all thumbs, and I bet I'd drop a few pounds if I switched to chopsticks. Especially the ice cream...

Barbara Blundell said...

Hi Pearl,
We seem to have a shopping sydrome here Early mornings are to be avoided as you could get knocked over by the sarnie brigade stocking up for the day for themselves and their kids
Late morning brings out the bumbling trolly rammers- best given a miss
Lunch times and late afternoons -busy- people dashing about with dinner in mind- you could be trampled underfoot.
Afternoons full of stollers,hangers about and ailse blockers To be avoided at all costs
Best time to shop 2-3 am

The Jules said...

They could improve chopsticks by making them out of metal, flattening one out a bit and giving it a sharp edge for cutting, whilst putting a couple of extra points on the other for stabbing the food with.

I would call them stab-and-slice-sticks

Bevie said...

Happy Easter, Pearl. Have a great day.

Suzy said...

Those red hat women scare me.