Two years ago a hot couple sat down next to me at a restaurant. I was eating alone, and hated them immediately, because come on hot couple. But then miraculously, they started fighting. Like right away. Like maybe they had come there for that express purpose. Like maybe just the idea of imminent pho makes them hot, hot couple. It was the kind of exchange you don’t really see outside of therapy: “Hi,” “Hi,” “I want to die.”
Maybe I had missed the fight foreplay. It’s entirely possible that things had happened in their relationship before I arrived on the scene, which is pretty annoying for a spectator. But whatever had previously happened, she had just been reminded that he was fucking his lab partner, Kara. Of course hot couple would be brought down by someone named Kara.
One thing was for sure, and that was that hot couple was terrible at fighting. They were talking about something serious—she was accusing him of cheating on her—but neither of them seemed to have any emotional investment in it whatsoever. Which maybe is how it is when you’re a hot couple. Regular looking people fight like IF WE DON’T RESOLVE THIS FIGHT I’LL NEVER LOVE AGAIN, but hot couple? They both knew there were other med students to fuck. One of them had already found one.
It was one of those fights where people go right into self-righteous indignation without ever even trying to explain themselves. Like in romantic comedies when the woman sees her beloved holding hands with another woman, and for some unfathomable reason, when confronted, the beloved goes straight to, “I can’t believe you would think I would ever hold anyone else’s hand,” and doesn’t even try to explain that it was his sister.
Hot guy was weakly denying that he was fucking his lab partner, but mainly just saying, “I can’t believe you would say that,” which usually means the person is buying time trying to think of an excuse for fucking their lab partner.
Their food came, which was when she threatened to leave. Well I thought she was threatening to leave. She said, “I’m going to get mine to go.” But then she just sat there, and it became clear to both him and I that she literally meant she was going to get her food to go. She wasn’t going to leave. She just wasn’t going to eat in this environment.
Then he, apparently having exhausted all avenues of reasoning, said, “Why don’t you just break up with me then? Just break up with me if you don’t want to deal with this.” “This” presumably being the complicatedness that is him and his lab partner’s love affair. He didn’t say “Relationships take work!” but that’s what he meant. Sometimes in a relationship you have to work to keep your boyfriend from fucking Kara. They were both so disengaged with the idea of “Kara” that it almost seemed like she was being used as proxy for what the fight was actually about, but usually you use something smaller to symbolize the bigger issue, you don’t accuse someone of cheating to say you’re mad about the dishwasher.
So he’s half-heartedly commanding that she break up with him, and she’s just sitting there not even being like, “You should be BEGGING me to stay with you after essentially admitting that you’re sleeping with your lab partner.” I was starting to get the impression that these people were crazy.
Then she hissed: “Why don’t you just leave and I’ll pay for this. I’ll pay for all of this.” She said it like it was a threat, but a threat is supposed to be something the other person doesn’t want, not something that would be awesome.
Then I had to leave, because it was so clear that nothing was going to happen. In the beginning I was worried someone was going to throw hot soup on someone else, but then it became clear that this was their thing. This was their relationship. Hot, angry med students passive aggressively working out their issues over pho.