Why is it that there are so many unhappy looking people on Valentine’s Day?
And I’m not just talking about people without roses.
On the way back home from spending the day with my newly single friend The Artist, I noticed a woman talking to a man with That tone of voice. It was a quiet, explaining tone, but it had an edge of annoyance. I looked in her direction, but her male partner’s arm was blocking her face. He was holding onto an overhead railing, and she was facing him, her back to the train door.
She was trying to explain the building blocks of DNA to her companion. In her proper accented English, she explained that the human body was made up of proteins, down to the amino acids that make up DNA. Her partner, either willingly or unwittingly, did not seem to be able to understand this basic fact. She tried several versions of an explanation. She tried to relate genetic coding to something he would understand. She chose binary code. I assume he must have been in an IT-related field because of her choice, but I found that hard to believe, given that he didn’t seem to exercise the kind of logic required in the field.
He also seemed entirely unwilling to meet her halfway. I couldn’t really hear what he was saying to her, but I got the sense that he also wasn’t really that interested in understanding what she was saying. I looked at his back and his grey hair, noticed the disparity in age between them, the unkempt and rumpled state of his coat. I saw her wavy brown hair, the edge of her clear glasses, her red coat mismatched with an orange scarf. And I started to get angry.
As she started again to try to explain the four bases in the nucleic acid of DNA (AGTC) he smiled patronizingly at her, stepped closer to her in mid-sentence, and leaned in to kiss her. She returned a peck and tried to finish her sentence. He cut her off, “I just don’t get it, I mean, the body is made up of proteins? These are proteins?” And started stroking her hair. She tried to continue, “Yes, I mean, it’s the most basic fact. It’s really basic –” and then gave up.
Occasionally I would see her reflected profile in the subway car’s shiny metal walls. As she was leaving, I got a good look at her reflected face. Her mouth had a firmness, and a suppressed frown. Her eyes flashed annoyance and she pursed her mouth, then sighed abruptly. Her eyes trailed to the floor and stayed there.
I wanted to run after her, tell her not to sleep with this idiot of a man. Tell her that he wasn’t even attractive, with his grey stubble, soft jowls and faintly stained and spotted crumpled coat. That she is not a misfit, hardly unattractive, with wonderful brown hair and a sparkling, sharp mind. And that she hardly needed to entertain, not even for a minute, this mess of a human being; someone clearly not at all interested in her as a person and only involved in satisfying his own lust.
But I didn’t. And so I sat, disturbed, and a little upset by what I’d just seen.
Corporate Lawyer wanted to meet up with me and was really disappointed when I said no — but I think what I’d seen gave me pause to sit and reflect on what I was doing in my dating sphere, too. I just needed to spend some time by myself this evening.
And The Charmer sent a rather rude text message propositioning me, asking me to stay with him on Tuesday night and he would drive me to work on Wednesday. I didn’t know what to say, which is exactly what I replied. I mean, you’d think it would be nice to be asked to dinner, not to be just asked to come over and service him… which is kinda how it read. How disappointing.