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Ivy League Loser

tea man We sit at our favorite table in the back of Alice's Tea Cup, our favorite weekend breakfast spot. Per usual, the girls wear the sparkly fairy wings they were given on the way in. Their porcelain cheeks glisten with fairy dust that has been known to cure skinned knees. Toddler nibbles her banana bread, moist and brown. Baby gobbles her blackberries. Husband and I hold court, sipping green tea, waiting for our poached eggs to arrive. It is the portrait of Saturday morning civilization.


Until there is a grating crescendo in the normal brunch symphony. A droning voice breaks through din of controlled chaos at our table. Two words carry.

"Ivy League... blah blah blah... Ivy League... blah blah blah... Ivy League."

Now, Husband and I are usually pretty good at tuning others out, at focusing on each other and the girls, but this becomes too much. We stop talking. And listen.

"I once worked at Polo. Can you believe it? I know. I was a polo shirt specialist. I knew everything about those shirts and everyone was so impressed, so impressed, but I was like... I am wasting my education. I shouldn't be here. I mean I am applying to Ivy League law schools. I mean, really..."

Husband and I smile at each other. Sip away. Break banana bread into tiny bits for Baby.

"I mean, honestly, the only thing that is truly wrong about living in Tribeca and I have the hardest time getting to Bergdorf's. It's really a pain."

At this, I turn to look. I can't help it. I see him. He's on the smaller side. Has meticulously-plucked brows. He wears, yes, a Polo shirt. He runs his hands through one of those long/shaggy/preppy lacrosse-player-haircuts. His wife, blond, pleasant-looking, clutches her swollen belly. She is very pregnant. I look away.

"Ugh. We have to go look at cabinets after this. Shoot me, right? They cost as much as a BMW but are not even cool. Ugh. Oh, honey! Remember when we went on that purse hunt? When we had to cajole that Chanel bag out of that guy at Barney's???"

At this, Baby, now supporting an amazing blackberry goatee, swivels in her highchair and gives the obnoxious man a good old piercing baby stare. Apparently, the guy sees her doing this.

"Everyone stop moving. Stop talking. We are being watched."

He is not smiling as he says this. He must be kidding.

I don't think he is.

"Jesus, babies freak me out."

I'm sure this is lovely for his pregnant wife to hear. And for my Baby to hear.

"I just wish I was a lawyer in the old days. Honey, remember when you had your associates run out and buy you jeans? Little suckers. Those were the days."

They are lawyers. All four of them. The other couple says something about working in the Public Defender's Office, but I can't really hear them because they speak at a Normal Person Decibel.

"Well, you should at least move to the South or to the Midwest. Where there is actually some crime. Hell, there's nothing going on there, but at least there are murders. Hell, those places are practically known for their murders."

Husband and I stare at each other in disbelief. Our eggs have arrived. Our waitress rolls her eyes and mutters so sorry before slipping away. And Husband and I smile. At her before she goes. At each other. At our girls who giggle in oblivion. Baby turns around to stare some more. Again, the man makes some crack about the sheer horror of being observed by a one-year-old.

"Well, this is blogworthy," I say to Husband. "This guy should be a character in my next book. He's that bad."

Truth be told, he would not be a good character in a book because he is a caricature. A living and breathing and horrendous cliche.

And then Husband takes the words right out of my mouth.

"I have to get a picture of this guy," Husband says. He pulls out his iPhone, fiddles with it, and pretends to help Baby with her food.

He gets a good shot. A perfect shot.

A shot which I immediately envision posting on my blog. How perfect!

(But then I come to my boring old senses and decide that I will not do this because I am a good girl and I have no interest in going the snark route on this blog. Because I have no interest in posting an actual picture of an actual person who was just trying to enjoy a subdued brunch of tea and scones on a Saturday morning. Right.)

As he and his party pay the check, Mr. Obnoxious continues to blabber on about everything offensive.

Ivy League!... Chanel!... I am basically just a sperm donor!... The South? Yuck!... Did I mention I played lacrosse in college?... I am a lawyer!... Ivy League!

Talk about Ivy League insecurities.


Describe the most obnoxious person you've ever encountered. Come on. No holding back. Tell me. (Even if it's me. Hey, I blab from time to time about the Ivy League - witness this post. Maybe I am just a milder version of this monster? Uh oh.) Do you have an impression of Ivy Leaguers (or New Yorkers or Americans or lawyers) that is at all like this terrible guy? Do you think that people act this way because they are profoundly insecure or because they are missing some socialization chip? Do you think people like this have any clue how obnoxious they are? Is acting like this an intentional, attention-seeking ploy?


* {Wonderful musing on the exquisite escalator that is parenthood} The Moving Staircase from Being Rudri.

* {"Striving for balance is a losing game"} The Suck Factor of Life Balance, + Passion as a Cure to Stress from White Hot Truth.

* {Always ask the big questions - even about blogging} Why We Read Blogs from An Attitude Adjustment.

* {What inspires you to blog?} Inspiration: My Journey in Blogging from Coffees and Commutes

* {"Part of evolving is our capacity for reinvention"} Who Do Think You Are? from The Halfway Point

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