(With apologies to Manti Te’o.)
7. Never picks up the check.
6. Forgets your anniversary.
5. She never introduces you to her imaginary friends.
4. You go on a couples cruise. You’re charged the singles rate.
3. Frequently find yourself asking her, “Is everything okay? You seem distant.”
2. You can’t get no satisfaction. No no no. Hey hey hey. That’s what I say.
And the top warning sign your girlfriend might not exist:
1. She dies of cancer and you feel nothing. Nothing!
Eating Thai food Sunday afternoon at Mix Bowl in Pomona, an almost-weekly ritual for me, I witnessed a birthday celebration, the first I can recall ever seeing there.
The servers don’t speak much English, so they didn’t all gather around to sing. Instead, the ever-present pop music in the background suddenly became a louder pop version of “Happy Birthday,” to an unusual, but pleasant and peppy, melody. The server brought out a big bowl of mixed fruit with flavored syrup on ice, with spoons for sharing, to the birthday boy, a Latino. The table of seven more Latinos sang along, once they got the rhythm, ending with “Happy birthday, dear Ricardo, happy birthday to you.”
Latinos, Asians, blacks, whites, Pomona cops and Claremont college kids can often be seen at Mix Bowl. It’s a cultural mix in itself. And now one thing is clear: I have to have my next birthday party there.
Eating lunch in Ontario today at Daphne’s Greek Cafe, I took a seat out on the patio, the interior being filled. A table away, a twentysomething couple sat. The woman smoked. Each wore black sunglasses. Most notably, they conversed easily in French, a language you don’t often hear in the Inland Valley. Sitting at an umbrella-shaded table in the warm afternoon, eating Greek food and listening to the musical French nearby, I felt cosmopolitan in a way you rarely feel out here. Even if it was a chain restaurant.