They were so easy to serve, I almost made the mistake of giving them very little attention and dismissing them as uninteresting in lieu of the more needy tables around them. They were lumpy in their comfortableness. Her shoulder-length gray hair sat limply on her head. She wore a simple dress with sensible shoes. His hair was thinning and neat and his sports coat looked worn and clean. Soft and smiling, they brought a quiet dignity to The Pie Shoppe, where many of the young customers sat crumpled into casually torn jeans or sweats. They blended into the bland decor of the restaurant, where the bright colors and brash brassiness of their younger counter parts screamed their being.
Their food was finished and he asked for the check. “We have to go home so she can have her way with me.”
Did I just hear this bland old man make an indirect sexual reference? That was the last thing I expected from a smiling great-grandparent. I felt uncharacteristic warmth on my cheeks and giggled self-consciously. “Well, don’t get too crazy now.”
The woman burst out laughing. “Oh! You have no idea!”
I laughed too. “Well, I guess not!”
He said, “She’s insatiable. I didn’t know I could keep up with her. At first I thought she’d break me. But this old soul’s got some dance in his step.”
“It’s good to know it doesn’t go away!” I said.
“Oh no. It just gets better,” said the woman.
After their check was paid, they gathered themselves slowly together as I said good-bye and thank you. She handed him his cane, then walked ahead as he paused to talk to me, touching my arm as he spoke. “You know, we met again after 60 years. We knew each other in school and didn’t even date. We went our separate ways for 60 years. Now, we’re like kids again! I didn’t know it could be like this.”
My spirit soared as I watched him walk away, stepping lightly despite his need for a cane. Young love in old people. I didn’t know it could be like that either.