It all looks good until it doesn’t

He had been coming in a lot as of late. If they say time heals all wounds, then it would be safe to say his were sufficiently scabbed over — at least enough to be dipping his foot back into in the shallow dating pool around here.

Handsome, successful, generous and kind, certainly a catch for anybody interested in those sorts of things.

“I’m looking for a seat at the bar whenever one opens up,” he said, much like he had on his first visit.

They also say you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar, but I suspect that “they” also live somewhere else.

Two people got up to leave, taking their time gathering all their belongings. Baseball caps, check. Expensive cellphones, check. Expensive designer sunglasses, check. Inexpensive reading glasses, check. Vanity so rarely relates much to need. The man stood leaving his hand on the bar territorially as he slowly drained the last of his water from his water glass. Nothing slows someone down like someone else waiting.

“Can I get some more water?” he asked.

Drought or no drought, water is available on request. After filling his glass again — with him standing with one hand guarding his spot — he drank half of it, leaving his spot and the other half on the bar. Nobody is going to tell him he can’t have water; entitlement just sort of works that way.

Just then two women in the single gentleman’s age bracket pushed their way into the two spots. A brief discussion ensued among me, the women and the patiently waiting man.

“But we’re ladies,” the one with the biggest voice said.

He acquiesced, as gentlemen do, and the two “ladies” sat.

“See,” Ms. Big Voice said leaning into her friend’s ear. “You’ve got to go after what you want in this life.” Her friend nodded vigorously.

“Excuse me! Excuse me!” she waved at me, interrupting someone else’s order.

“Just a second,” I said indicating the person whose order I was already taking.

She didn’t notice or didn’t care. My guess was the latter.

“Excuse me!”

This time I just looked at her.

“May I get you something?” I asked when time and circumstance allowed.

“I don’t know. What do I want?”

A truism in the restaurant business is that the more insistent the need of a guest to be waited upon, the less likely they will be prepared when it comes to pass.

The two “ladies” were attractive in that way that designer clothes, expensive haircuts and lots of free time will allow. Something the man certainly took notice of. It is truly surprising what some men and women will put up with for attractiveness in a mate, be that physical attractiveness or financial.

He made a gesture that he was going to buy a drink for them once they made a choice. Ms. Big Voice saw the gesture out of the corner of her eye.

“Excuse me,” she said turning to him, “can’t you see that we are ordering?”

He stammered for just a moment, shocked at being castigated in the middle of a good deed.

“Some people are just so rude,” she said to her vigorously nodding friend.

I looked at him again, just to be sure that he still wanted to proceed.

He nodded.

“There’s just no good men around here,” she continued. Not surprisingly, her friend nodded.

After trying four different wines, she finally selected the least expensive.

“It’s just as good as that one,” she said pointing at the most expensive.

I handed the man his credit card receipt for the two wines.

“Do you mind?” Ms. Big Voice said to him regarding his reach. “I am trying to enjoy my glass of wine.”

That was it. The gentleman signed and left without saying another word.

“Can you believe that guy?” Ms. Big Voice’s friend asked me. “How rude.”

“He was actually paying for your drinks,” I said. “And he gave his seat to you, too.”

She looked at me dumbfounded.

“Well if I had known that, I would have ordered the other wine.”

Leaving me with these thoughts:

• Beauty might only be skin deep, but ugly goes down to the bone.

• Sometimes the only impediment to our own happiness is ourselves.

• All gentlemen are men, but not all men are gentlemen. The same can also be said of ladies and women.

• The squeaky wheel might get the grease, but eventually gets the shaft.