This weekend my boyfriend and I went for dinner with our good friend Chloe and her new boyfriend Pat. Now Chloe and Pat’s relationship absolutely reeks of the infatuation stage, and their timid handholding, soft whispers and shared little giggles are absolutely adorable (I’m talking fluffy baby kittens playing in a box with tissue paper and ribbon adorable).
How about my boyfriend and I? Well, we’re currently hardcore into the I-love-you-but-please-just-shut-the-hell-up-when-we’re-in-public-together stage. And how do I know we’ve officially reached said stage? Because the following three things have become a regular occurrence each and every time we’re out on the town together (our dinner with Chloe and Pat being no exception):
1. I know exactly when he’s going to pull out a story, exactly what story it will be and exactly how he will tell it. I.e., Chloe orders fish. I let out a dramatic sigh because I know I’m going to have to hear about the time a fish bit my boyfriend on the penis for the umpteenth time. He says, “Once when I was skinny dipping at my cottage…” and I simply zone out for the next five minutes.
2. He asks for a bite of my food and I make a stink about it. This is because his “bites” are the equivalent of a heaping forkful of whatever looks most delicious on my plate. To get him back I ask for a “taste” of his meal. I do this when he only has one bite left, which I know he doesn’t want to share.
All this occurs while Chloe and Pat lovingly spoon morsels of their own dishes into each other’s mouths.
3. We get into obnoxious detail wars about anything and everything. Example:
Me: So we were at our friend’s wedding last weekend –
Him: Two weekends ago. It was the first weekend of the month.
Me: Ok, two weekends ago. So we were trying to get a cab to the wedding –
Him: Which happened after we took the ferry across.
Me: So we’re trying to hail a cab for, like, thirty minutes –
Me: All right, what now?
Him: Nothing, I didn’t say anything.
Me: But you were thinking something.
Him: Nope. Just tell it your way.
Me: What were you thinking?
Him: Well, thirty minutes is a bit of an exaggeration don’t you think?
Me: No. Actually it was probably closer to thirty-five minutes.
Him: Oh come on, there is NO WAY we waited for thirty-five minutes. Fifteen, at the most.
Me: WHHHAT? Are you SERIOUS?!??! It was AT LEAST Thirty!
Him: Ok, it was thirty.
Me: Don’t do that.
Him: Do what?
Me: You know what.
Him: Remember events as they actually happened?
Me: FINE! Why don’t YOOOOU tell it then?
Him: BECAUSE IT’S NOT EVEN A STORY IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!! IT’S HOW WE GOT FROM MY AUNT’S HOUSE TO THE WEDDING — THAT’S NOT A STORY, THAT’S A STRING OF FACTS, AND YOU CAN’T EVEN GET THAT PART RIGHT!!!
Me: (assaulting his plate so I can shovel the last bit of food into my mouth) HAAAAA!
It’s about now we realize we’re making a scene. We look at Chloe and Pat who seem to be seriously contemplating breaking it off so they never have to reach this stage in their relationship.
I have a sinking feeling it’s hard to move on from the I-love-you-but-please-just-shut-the-hell-up-when-we’re-in-public-together stage, simply because I have seen my parents struggle through for what seems like forever. For now I suppose the best my boyfriend and I can do is make an extra effort to treat each other with tact and respect in front of other people and save the unbecoming slapstick for the privacy of our own bedroom.