While walking down Jaffa Road in Jerusalem, we passed a young man just as he was showing a glimpse of something – rather secretively – to a friend. “Congratulations, man!” the friend said quietly with a big smile, and ran off.
“Did you see what it was?” Christian asked as we passed.
“No, did you?”
“An engagement ring.”
I looked back and saw the young man, his nervousness oh-so-slightly visible, sit down on a bench next to his girlfriend, who was talking on her cell phone.
“Let’s watch!” I urged. We grabbed a bench a little ways down the sidewalk and observed what was sure to be a beautiful moment…
…but it wasn’t. It was a disaster.
For about ten minutes, the girlfriend yapped away on her cell phone, while her fiance-to-be fidgeted. Played with the ring in his pocket. Adjusted his jacket. Changed the position of his legs. Leaned forward and hid his face in his hands. Then turned and stared directly at her for a while.
Get off the phone! I mentally willed the girl. But she was completely absorbed in the conversation and didn’t even look at him.
“That’s awful! Poor guy!” Christian repeated over and over, shaking his head at her obliviousness to her boyfriend’s obvious anxiousness.
FINALLY – she hung up the phone, ran a hand through her hair, and turned to face him. A few words were spoken between them, and… and…
…her cell phone rang again. And she answered.
“What a nightmare!!” we exclaimed. The cell phone conversation went on and on and on. At last the boyfriend leaned back, crossed his arms and his ankles, and stared straight ahead. His body language said it all:
“Not gonna happen today,” Christian remarked.
Every once in a while the guy looked over at his beloved. Still on the phone. Check again a couple minutes later. Still on the phone.
We eventually got up and left.
I wonder if he ever asked?