November 6, 2009

Fear of the dining dead

I know it's not how you're supposed to judge your self, or your relationships, but sometimes I start to think about how other people see Boy-Creature and me. Sometimes I wonder if strangers look at us and try to figure us out, and whether they think we're happy together. It bothers me the most in restaurants.

There are some times when we'll be out, and there are long periods where we just sit there, and don't say anything. Maybe they're not even as long as I think, maybe it's just that I'm self-conscious and they start to seem interminable. It always makes me think of that part in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" when he's talking about the dining dead, those bored couples who just stare off into space because there's something wrong in their relationship. I worry that people might think we're the dining dead, when really it's one of those comfortable silences. Plus, we both had mostly monotonous jobs, and there's very little fodder for conversation from that arena.

Every time we have one of those nights, I wonder if people think that about us, and I want to stand up and announce that really we're ok, and we're happy together. I've thought before about how when we're at home, we make each other laugh all the time. It makes me want to tell people, "You should see us in private! You'd be so envious of how happy and fun we are!"

Last night we had one of those rare nights out when everything was perfect. Boy-Creature was in this hyper, hilarious mood and it was rubbing off on me, which was good, because I'd been really crabby and snapped at him for no reason earlier. But we were laughing outside the restaurant, and then when we went in, we got seated right away, so we didn't have to wait around by the hostess stand. And we kept laughing through the whole meal, and we were sharing food and the waitress was nice. I found myself secretly hoping people saw us like that, even though we were at this tiny table kind of wedged behind this half-wall near the door. The restaurant was kind of crowded. But even if no one saw or cared, we had fun.

And we still do. Earlier today, I did something obnoxious and ridiculous, and the look on his face was so funny I laughed until I started crying. The true sign of a good relationship.

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