|Photo credit: Moe's|
Jim and I have been on the same lunch circuit for about three years now. I'd see him at Moe's (my usual Monday lunch spot for Moe's Monday), the Loop (my usual Tuesday lunch spot for Double Punch Tuesday), and Panera another day of the week. I'm not loyal to Panera on any particular day. And for the record, Friday is usually Chick-Fil-A day, and occasionally, I'll hit Crispers or Tom and Betty's. I've seen Jim at all those neighborhood haunts too. I realize I could save a heck of a lot of money by brown bagging it, but I've just never been the brown bagging type.
So back to Jim. As I mentioned we've been on the same lunch circuit for a while, but we've never officially met. A head nod here and there has been the extent of our interaction. Last week I decided that if I saw him, I would sit down and talk to him. When I walked into Moe's on Wednesday (totally threw on you that one didn't I, since I usually go to Moe's on Monday!), there he was. So before ordering, I walked over to his table, asked if I could ask him a question and sat down. By this point I imagine he was thinking, "Oh holy hell, this blonde that I've been seeing around for three years now is actually stalking me." I mentioned that we've been on the same lunch circuit for a while now and he just laughed and said yes, that's true. When I told him about my Friends and Strangers Project, he said he'd love to get to know me, but he didn't want me to take his picture. Now, Jim is definitely not an unattractive guy, so I'm not sure why he was so camera shy, but what the heck, we continued our conversation.
He lives in the Avondale area (where my campus, Moe's, the Loop and Panera are located) and is a project manager for a family business specializing in home design. When I asked him if he was an architect, he told me that in residential design, you do not have to work with an architect when designing or remodeling your home because you are not required to meet ADA requirements as you would for a commercial building. I did not know that! We talked about home design for a while, and then he asked me what I did in the neighborhood. When I told him I worked for the college, he said that only those who've grown up in the neighborhood know all the different names the college has had. I actually graduated from my very campus three college names ago, as did he!
I haven't given up on getting a photo of Jim yet, and since I'll undoubtedly see him again, I'll keep trying. In the meantime, you may now imagine eating one of those yummy Joey's above. See more Friends and Strangers posts here.