I walked through a big box store this weekend, Memorial Day weekend, just minding my own business. I had to pick up some things, oddly enough not related to picnics or swimming pools. Most people in the store were in bathing suits (gross) and had their carts piled high with igloo coolers, beer, and bratwurst.
As I rounded a corner, a couple in their forties passed in front of me. Excitedly, the wife-figure made a ‘raise-the-roof’ motion with her hands and asked her husband in a high-pitched voice:
“CAN I GET A WHAT-WHAT?”
The husband-figure was trailing behind, slumped over the cart. “What, what,” he half sighed.
Any laughter or amusement I had in my eyes completely disappeared as he rounded the corner and caught my gaze.
I turned to my companion for the day and said to her “That, friends, is why I just cannot see myself getting married.”
It’s not like doing silly things in love is a foreign concept for me. I’e been there. I cringe to think of the suffering I caused to classmates in ghigh school as The Boyfriend passed notes to me, called me “honey-dew-melon-pie” for God-knows-what reason and I sat there smiling at my “Snoopy dog”. (Again, God knows why those names suck…can I get a what-what?) And what about the time we figured out that our noses fit perfectly together?
I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit.
No, the idea of being that couple really annoys me. But I sort of think nobody really sets out to be “that couple” that makes everyone physically ill (or laugh until your sides hurt)…nah, one minute you’re a singleton declaring your immunity to goofy sayings and promising that you’ll always respect Jay-Z and his amazing lyrics (Can I get a…is probably not the example I’d cite there). The next minute you’re calling someone smoopy, giving Eskimo kisses, and saying “I love you” into an office phone while your coworkers put line 3 on hold. Again.
There’s a line, of course, that stands between normal and “our noses fit together isn’t that cute?!”. I guess you have to figure out what your personal tolerance is, what the public will tolerate, and if you really want to have a mid-twenty year old singleton judge you for being an utter embarrassment to couples everywhere.
But today I sat in a chair trying to recall the last time I held hands with someone other than a man named Se Jung (no really, shout out to Se Jung who does my nails and tells me I’m beautiful every single time), who is, incidentally, well versed in the subtle difference between pink champagne and bubblebath pink nail polishes. And I can’t recall the last time I held hands. I can’t recall having a pet name. I can’t recall a lot of the basics of relationships.
It’s been longer since those parts of a relationship came out than it has been since the sexual part of one did. I spend a lot of my time blowing off the “sillier” parts of relationships; the nicknames, the inside jokes. But I think maybe it’s because I feel more vulnerable having these things in my life than I do having sex.
And maybe I keep pushing away matches on dating sites because I’m afraid I might mess those things up again and be left with just the sex parts, or maybe even nothing at all.
Maybe I’m not of afraid of someone asking me for a “What-What” after all. Maybe I’m more afraid of them not asking for a what-what.
Does that make any sense at all?