I went to Starbucks today to get some work done. It had been a busy morning, and I had gotten no study time. I went to my usual spot, got the computer out, and was getting a little work done.
Then it happened.
A family of four came in and sat at a table near me. At first I was not aware of them. Then I became aware of a strong accent. Since I am intrigued by accents, my attention focused on the voices to figure out where they were from. Then I became aware of how loud they were.
The father was telling the college aged woman how she had disappointed him, hurt him, and not lived up to her potential. The young woman told the man, presumably her father, that she intended to make her own mistakes. She didn’t want advice or help. Her language was peppered with the f-word.
A friend of mine, sitting near by got up and left. On his way out he told me, “I think you need to offer your counseling services to them,” grinning as he walked away. “No,” I said. “I don’t think I’ll be getting involved in that dispute.”
I suppose that culture influenced the way the family decided to air their dispute. I can’t imagine going to such a public place to loudly discuss a family problem. At the lowest level it was very rude. No one could sit around them without being disturbed by it. Everyone could hear perfectly what was being discussed.
It was not a matter of eavesdropping. This was like having a bull horn strapped to your head. I wanted to say, “Take it home to discuss.”