Last night Bee and I went for dinner at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Bee does love a good chain.
The restaurant was entirely glass fronted, so we chose a table in the window, where, once we had run out of things to say to each other, we could amuse ourselves watching people loitering about outside, trying to decide whether to go for a burger or Yo Sushi.
About three minutes later, we were watching a woman on her own, who was spending an unreasonable amount of time looking at the menu outside. “Maybe she’s meeting someone,” I suggested.
“Nah,” countered Bee, “because then she wouldn’t be looking at the menu would she?”
“She might,” I said, “if she was just trying to make herself look busy.”
Bee didn’t look convinced. “To be honest,” she said, “she does look like the kind of person who’d go to a burger restaurant on her own.”
I scolded her of course, for being judgemental, but she did look like the kind of person who’d go to a burger restaurant on her own.
Our next victims were a couple, clearly in the early stages of a new relationship. As they looked at the menu, they held hands – the proper way with fingers intertwined – and every so often looked back at each other, smiling, as though a burger was just what they needed to seal their everlasting love. If it had been a film, now would have been the scene with the vaseline smeared on the lens.
As I predicted, they decided on burgers against sushi, and were shown to the table next to ours, in full view of me but behind Bee – perfect for enabling continued spying, but a little restrictive when it came to being able to talk about them. Still, we did our best.
They approached the table, and, hands still entwined, and the man held out his date’s chair. She smiled adoringly at him, in her mind clearly the most thoughtful, romantic man who ever lived. Their arms stretched as he walked to the other side of the table, and their hands reluctantly separated.
“Bee…” I stage whispered, my mouth subtly hidden by a giant onion ring, “he held the chair out for her!”
“Ahhh!” Bee swooned, “Sweet! No one has ever held a chair out for me.”
Clearly not happy at the brief lapse in physical contact, they were soon holding hands across the table, gazing lovingly into each others eyes.
It made me wonder.
When does that stop? And more importantly, why does that stop?
“Tbh,” said Bee, (she actually says the letters, t, b, h), “it’s a bit weird isn’t it? I wouldn’t do that in public.” Maybe not, but isn’t that everyone’s favourite part of a relationship, the ‘honeymoon period’, those early days when you can’t get enough of each other, when you want to be in the same room as each other all the time?
Or maybe when you find the right person, it never does really end. Maybe you get it under control a bit more, but wouldn’t it be great if you could keep that excitement forever? I’d like to think you can keep it, even if perhaps as more of a gentle bubbling than a fierce boil.
New Boyfriend is not so new any more, but secretly, I still always wish I could be holding his hand across the table.