All of a sudden there's a person standing next to us who says, in a flustered voice, "You guys, it's too much, you need to keep it down, it's, it's just too much." The person turns and walks back to where they were sitting across the cafe.
We sit there, stunned for a second, and then one of us manages a weak "But this isn't a library, it's a cafe". We talk about it and aren't sure what had happened. We're pretty certain we were using regular conversational voices. We certainly weren't shouting and weren't using foul language. We did have a couple moments of laughter when a joke was made, but those were rare and still not loud.
Again, this is in the cafe part of Borders where the conversation of the counter people carries, where other conversations are going on, where people talk on their cell phones, where the blender and the espresso machine are a regular interruption, and where there's music playing in the background.
We did end up turning our volume down a notch for a little bit, but then we could barely hear each other, so we went back to normal voices. Of course, we made a couple snide comments later to ourselves about how we hoped the blenders weren't too loud.
But the whole thing was strange, one of those moments where you think "This was a problem? But I don't get it." even though you are trying to examine what you did wrong. It ended up bugging me, as I certainly don't think of myself as a loud, rude person (just the opposite, in fact). And if I'm in a cafe and someone is talking loud I might get tweaked for a second, but then I realize "well, this is a cafe." The whole thing was all very strange and uncertain...