Remember “Once In A Lifetime,” the Talking Heads’ hit record from the 1980s?
It had lyrics that said, “You may tell yourself that is not my beautiful house, and you may tell yourself that is not my beautiful wife.”
I experienced the second half of that lyric yesterday.
Taking a break from sightseeing on the streets of Reykjavik, Jamie and I took refuge in a small, crowded coffee shop. She told me she wanted a cup of coffee and wandered off to find a table while I placed our order.
The barista handed me an empty cup and said I could fill it at the bar behind me. I didn’t know which kind of coffee Jamie wanted, so when I spotted her sitting at a nearby table I walked over, set the cup and saucer on the table and said, “Here’s your coffee cup.”
The attractive, short-haired woman at the table looked up and said, “I didn’t order coffeee.”
It wasn’t Jamie.
Startled, I blurted out, “You’re not my wife.”
She started laughing. The woman at the next table (also not Jamie) started laughing. Then I started laughing. Half the damn coffee shop started laughing.
In keeping with the Talking Heads’ lyrics, this was definitely not my beautiful wife. But they did look almost identical — other than the fact that my ersatz wife was Chinese and about 20 years younger than Jamie. In my defense, they both had short, dark hair.
The other short-haired young woman’s name was Summer, and oddly enough, she’s also from Texas.