The Queen of Hearts is Always Your Best Bet

The couple at the table beside me at the coffee shop is on a date, by all accounts of eavesdropping, a first or a second date. They're both decently good looking people, educated, articulate and they seem to be getting along famously.

But, oh-sweet-Jesus does everyone sound like such gits on a first date? How do two obviously intelligent people go on at such length without saying anything of substance? They've been at it for an hour. Granted, they now have an exhaustive list of statistics about each other: place of birth, alma mater, names of siblings, professional history, favorite foods, sports teams of choice but what they haven't done is actually get to know one another. It's like they're both on the worst job interview of their lives, every word guarded, every statement tailored not to offend, every laugh deliberate.

They haven't even tried to challenge one another. Neither of them have said anything that might risk the other's umbrage. They've not exposed the tiniest parts of their soft emotional underbelly, so to speak. And, when crafting a relationship, this is something a couple should do right out the gate. Sure, one risks being wounded, risks spreading one's secrets but is that not better than spending a dozen more dates or the balance of one's lifetime with someone unrealized as a stranger?

The worst part is, they're probably going to go out again and again and again. They'll probably end up married and buried without ever having unpacked each other's hearts.

I can't take it. I'm putting my headphones on now.

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Tom Harper said...

That reminds me of this double date my wife and I were overhearing at the next table at a restaurant. All 4 of them looked old enough to not need to be dropping brand names and keeping with the Joneses, but they were almost unbearable to listen to.

The restaurant was crowded and we couldn't hear most of the conversation, but every time somebody dropped a VIP's name or a prestigious brand name, their voices shot up to 100 decibels.

"...well, when you're smoking $500 an ounce weed with Boz Scaggs coming out of your Pioneer speakers..."

"...the last time I was St. Tropez..."

"...so anyway, the CEO calls me on Sunday afternoon and says this important meeting simply can't take place unless I'm there..."

ExtraO said...

I often notice couples when I'm out and try to guess if it is a new relationship or an established one. The first dates are usually pretty awkward aren't they?

nursemyra said...

No they didn't go out again nor did they end up getting married. He's actually a closeted homosexual and she's having a torrid affair with a married man. They only went on that date because their unsuspecting parents set them up