As I sit in a restaurant or coffee shop, a few things interest me. One is the price that people will pay for a cup of coffee, the other is dead couples.
I termed the phrase after witnessing a particularly painful experience of two people in Pizza Express. As I sat munching on my ‘healthy pizza’ under 500 calories (they basically cut a hole in the middle of a normal pizza and fill it with salad), I noticed a couple that weren’t speaking.
Now people watching is fun. Not in the weird perverse way some may enjoy, but just looking at how people interact in various social settings can be really interesting. This couple, probably in their mid twenties, looked plain bored. The girl had obviously put effort into her outfit and I could smell the guys cologne from where I was sat, so I assumed that it must be a date.
I couldn’t decide whether this was a first date, so two nervous people not sure what to say, or a couple in an established relationship. Had they had an argument? Why the silence?
I was with a friend who told me I was being rude not wanting to listen to her issue with her mother, so I multi-tasked (yes, something men can do) and listened attentively while keeping an eye on the quiet couple.
I then happened to notice an older couple, I’d say in their forties, also sat in quiet solitude. The woman gazed out of the window and the guy flicked the menu. What was up with this two?
As the food appeared the conversation between both couples started: How great does this food look? It smells delicious! Then the silence resumed.
I asked my friend if she had noticed the couples in silence. She said no, and carried on talking about her mum.
Now I realise that you shouldn’t judge people by first impressions, you shouldn’t really judge anyone, but we do. The couples had their reasons for silence, and I completely respect that. But witnessing ‘dead couples’ makes me wonder just how many people are truly happy in relationships.
The term YOLO (you only live once) is tossed around casually in conversation, but it is true. Now I don’t want to get all philosophical in this blog post, but how frightening is it that society tell you to find one person to spend your life with. One person. Is the person you are with that person?
I suppose the word compromise is crucial here. Why we stay with one person requires that we accept who they are. Perhaps they work hard and provide you with security, maybe they know you better than anyone else in the world. And maybe they aren’t very chatty in a pizza restaurant.
But, there are dead couples that are literally walking zombies. Together for all the wrong reasons. So, next time you are out have a look for them. Or perhaps you are being watched.