Though any 'Bee's is a hoppin' place around dinnertime and Happy Hour, there's something more magical about a late lunch or an early dinner at the Neighborhood. There's no line, no putting your name on a list, no fighting for a seat in the lobby while your stomach growls for half-prince appetizers. The waiters and waitresses are all standing around the hostess, who grins and leads you, immediately, to one of the booths near the window. Ah, the good life. You get drinks, appetizer, meal, desserts, in rapid succession. Maybe the waitstaff isn't as peppy and, maybe, the atmosphere loses a little something without a rowdy crowd of sports fans seated around the bar. But seeing the place so quiet is both unsettling and wonderful. Every person, place, and thing has an undercurrent they don't show the world; every side has two stories. And the story of Applebee's in the late afternoon includes eavesdropping, laughing, and eating as much as you can in as little time as it takes to do so.
Criminal Minds has become a staple in my household, since sometime last year. I think the family's love affair with the BAU began about a year ago, summertime, when staying up late was the only way to beat the heat (until Mom finally relented and let us put in the air conditioners a little ahead of schedule). My mom was actually the one who found it, late one night, and who knew they could play quite so many re-runs of a single TV show, on quite so many separate cable channels. What Mom says, in this house, goes. Needless to say, we were all hooked on the stories by the end of that first night.
But no matter how much I love the characters and laugh about their superhuman abilities to solve spine-tingling crimes, my favorite part of the show is definitely the quotes recited to viewers at the beginning and end of every episode. As the show opens, one member of the team (usually whoever ends up being the focus of the plot) quotes a line from a poem or play, or something witty or intelligent someone of the same nature has said at some point in history. The process is repeated as a coda to the main story at the end of the show. I usually understand why the quotes are chosen, but sometimes they are just so incredibly irrelevant, or ill-chosen, you can't help but laugh.
That's not to say I haven't learned a few things or taken some words and meanings to heart. I love the dash of culture and thoughtfulness these famous minds bring to heinous crimes. And, yes, you can quote me on that.
Natasha Bedingfield fan? No? Well, listen to this song anyway. It's absolutely ridiculous and a helluva lot of fun, but there's more than a grain of truth to it. What girl doesn't have these thoughts? It's instinctual; it's Darwin; it's survival of the species. You choose a mate, no matter how hard you try to deny it, based on something you can sense that says they'll give you the fittest, the most attractive, the best of the best when it comes to offspring. You want to have his babies because he's hot, because he has a silver tongue, because he'd be able to rip out an antelope's neck, whatever. Something attracts you to a guy, and it's probably not even something you think about.
And who doesn't want to fall in love (even if it's only for a few seconds across the coffee shop counter) and picture your engagement, your wedding, the birth of your first child? You think of names for characters, but maybe you actually want that to be for your first-born. It's all about the babies - having them, birthing them, holding them, crying when they cry, laughing when they laugh. Some people have a way with the young. Some will have to learn. But you know you've thought about having one just as much as I have.