February 21, 2013

pipe down- eating lunch in public part 2

Unlike yesterdays post what happened at this lunch was quite a bit more personal.

Bill and I were given the keys to a friends place in the Outer Banks. Since the drive is several hours we decided to stop at a little Italian place for lunch. Just before our lunch was served a group of Police Officers entered and sat at the next table.  For a time after the accident the sight of uniforms or even the sight of a police car was the cause of great anxiety for me.

If their presence in the restaurant  wasn't painful enough they started talking about an accident that they had all responded to where there had been a fatality.  In a voice that carried one officer recounted every last detail of that horrible accident. It was torture.

Other than his voice the only other sound I could hear was the blood  whooshing through my veins and my heart pounding. Did I mention the tears? There were always tears back then. I remember thinking to myself what were the chances, cops and us meeting- them talking about the one thing that would be so profoundly upsetting to us? Sigh.....

I went to the bathroom an splashed water on my face to try to compose myself.

When I returned from the bathroom silence greeted me and the officers seemed contented to eat their lunch mostly silently and we did too to my great relief.

As we walked out to the car I said to Bill.

"You said something to them."

He grabbed my hand squeezed and said.

"All I told them was how soon it's been since the kids." "They were sorry honey; really they were."

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  1. People don't realise how a conversation can carry sometimes. So very brave of your hubby to mention it and obviously they weren't aware of the emotional trauma they were putting you through. It may also be their way of dealing with the horror of attending and helping in that situation.

  2. You're husband is awesome, Jen. That must have been so hard. I hope those policemen learned their lesson.

  3. OMG Jen! I can only imagine how upsetting this was for you both. I am sorry you had to go through this.
    I agree, your husband did the right thing. Lesson learned for the police officers. Some good hopefully came from the whole experience in the restaurant.
    Take care.

  4. Did they pick up your guys tab for lunch? I can see how this would have affected you Jen in such a painful way. I do too thing they should have been sensitive with their conversation in such a place as a restaurant, not knowing again who is listening. It is a great reminder for us to be careful with what we discuss in such a public place as a restaurant. I am glad that your husband did say something to them, and I am sure they were genuinely sorry. I'm hopeful maybe they didn't repeat that action at a future lunch.


  5. It's that old saying,think before you speak, I'm so sorry you had to be upset like this but what a lovely husband you have and those police will have learnt a valuable lesson.

  6. Awww, love your Bill! Give him a virtual hug from a stranger. One from me to you also my friend!

  7. sending hugs.... I experienced this time and time again when I owned my fitness center... someone working out talking about something I knew was going to be a painful topic for another person on the circuit. it took tact, and timing and courage to step in and change the subject and was not always possible. usually the damage was already done. we never know that what we say may have such a powerful effect on another... proves true the saying about thinking before we speak. hugs again Jen.

    1. I can imagine with all the people in and out of a place like that unwanted subjects would come up. There just should be some things that should never be talked about in public or within earshot of others.

  8. Agreed - your husband sounds like a keeper. I work with our local police force a fair amount - they are all good people and I know that they would have responded just like those guys did. It is good for them to be reminded that their conversations can be overheard and difficult.

  9. I'm so sorry you had to go through that Jen.


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