Historians will someday pinpoint when the young man confessed to having no fondness for dogs but an affinity for his pet lizard as the moment when his prospects entered into an irrecoverable nosedive.
The young woman has a variety of interests and is quite amicably bouncing from subject to subject.
Her companion seems about as lively and interesting as a bag of potatoes.
The lizard prints are on the wall. If she agrees to a 3rd drink, love is dead.
Her: travel, animals, skiing and snowboarding, college sports, multiple popular shows, her opposition to racism.
Him: Dogs, meh. Lizards, good.
If this were a personality contest, they’d be carting him off the field.
This is deeply troubling.
This is like watching a tennis match where one player hits a forehand while the other sits in a lawn chair eating pistachios out of his navel.
Mankind may well be doomed.
Siri and Alexa are good listeners.
That’s an insufficient value proposition.
Her: (says thing with emotional inflection)
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Why, fair goddess of love? Why?!
I’ve heard more interesting noises from garage door openers.
He is 3/4 through his second drink. She is 1/2 way through hers.
There has been a palpable relaxation on both parties’ parts.
He’s slightly less stiff than a mannequin now. Slightly.
He has yet to produce an anecdote. A sentence here. A sentence there.
I suspect his lizard is the chatty one in the household.
Iguana leave but... in for a dime, in for a dollar.
She annunciates like a person used to human contact.
He sounds like he’s talking through a fast food drive-through speaker.
Did he just tell me to proceed to the second window?
He has been nursing the last inch of his beer. She has maybe a quarter of hers left.
I don’t want to sound hyperbolic but the fate of humanity, love and hope hangs in the balance during these next critical minutes.
Turn left and there’s a polite hug in the parking lot and a “He’s nice but...” txt to friends at the next stoplight.
Turn right and there’s a 10 yr road to telling the friend who won’t judge you that marrying Carl was “settling”.
I’m on the edge of my seat. I’m positively atingle.
The seconds are ticking by like hours.
I both want to call over the bartender and don’t.
Will they have another round?
I never should’ve listened. Now I must know.
There’s no easy way to share this.
Hopefuls and romantics... believers in soulmates... aficionados of good fits and great couples... it’s probably best if you sit down.
There is nothing left to do but settle into the sad, weathered sofa we call acceptance.
I now wish I knew her friends.
No. I should very much have access to someone who would return my “so, things seem to be going well with Carl...” with a raised-eyebrow say-it-without-saying-it look of “I don’t get that one.”
That’s all I’m saying.
Future-Mrs.-Carl interjected with an excited acknowledgment.
Carl then aborted the story. Future-Mrs. had to beseech him to finish it.
I envision future cruise ship breakfasts eaten in silence.
While Carl sent several hasty txts while Future Mrs. went to the bathroom, he has yet to produce it to reciprocate.
Stupid boring Carl.
I now know why they used to cover piano legs in Victorian times.
That was more milquetoast intimacy than anyone needs to see.
I feel unclean.
I’m sure the cordon bleu will Be lovely.
Sigh. If only I believed that.
This story must now fade to black with all of the unsettling dissatisfaction of the Soprano’s finale.
Maybe there’s an alternate ending.
I shall cling to that hope like an embroidered throw pillow for that is all we can do now.
Me walking out...
Place bustling with the clinkety-clink of couples and families eating and drinking...
A final glance back to see Carl’s arm around Future Mrs.’ chair.
Maybe a RomCom...
No. I’m not ready to laugh yet. I just need some “me” time.