The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Three of a Kind

Even before you can recognize their similarity, you can read from non-verbals that they are related. The older woman picks something off the shoulder of the woman who must be her daughter. The woman brushes lint off the derrière of the young lady who must be her daughter. The young daughter turns, fusses at her mother, tries surreptitiously to brush the lint away herself.

Mother, Daughter, and Grandma are all gnawing on gum like…how can I say this in the best possible way…cows chewing their cud. I’m sorry. You know I prefer to be positive, but I must also be descriptive. It’s the only way to sum up the open-lipped mastication in the row of ladies coming down the sidewalk. They’re going to a wedding.

Grandma and Daughter wear huge necklaces, and Mom has large earrings. They need something to touch, and they fidget with the baubles as they stomp toward the reception line. They’ve skipped the ceremony–people have been streaming out of the church and into a nearby reception for nearly 20 minutes. Grandma and Mother wear black. Daughter wears mostly black with a stripe of white, perhaps a mark of distinction. They wear facial expressions that don’t reflect light and hope for the happy couple, only the gaze of obligation–like people heading back to the office after lunch.

As they turn the corner and are visible to the other guests, they all stand up straighter, they all reach for their accessories, and they all wrinkle their noses as they smile. So their grins are a mix of scorn and delight, a mix of primping and greeting, they keep on chewing, they tilt their heads. They’re a remarkable trio and a triumph of family resemblance.

–Budapest, Hungary.

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6 comments on “Three of a Kind

  1. M-R
    September 26, 2014

    Not even the bridal party looks happy. What’s wrong with these people ? – don’t the couple want to get married ? Don’t the guests want to attend ?
    All that money !!!!!!!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 27, 2014

      Maybe they just don’t like having their picture taken? Or the ceremony is a bit of a bore? Zlata Filipović wrote in her diary, “You only get married for the first time once.” 🙂 You’d think it would be nice to seize the day. I noticed that post-lunchtime look on a lot of faces, but there were smiles among them.
      Paige

  2. joannerambling
    September 26, 2014

    I have been told that people find it easy to notice that I am my mothers daughter as we are so alike, that bridal party look like they are worried it is going to piss down raining

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 27, 2014

      I understand the fear of the rain. Plus, photos in the street can draw all sorts of odd attention. The pic, alas, is from Prague last year, so I didn’t get a snap of the Trio in my story (as usual!).

      And I look like my mother, but my sisters look much more like her. They are all light blondes and I’m the odd sheep. 🙂 Thanks, Joanne!
      Paige

  3. heavenhappens
    September 27, 2014

    Oh dear there are some strange strangers in this world of ours!
    It’s great to read your blog again.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 27, 2014

      🙂 Strange, but still nice, in their own way, it seems!
      Thank you so much for your visit. Have a lovely weekend–
      Paige

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