The 100th Conversation

 

couple001It is established, at least to my mind, that a person can only have a hundred meaningful conversations in the course of a relationship, and it is folly to run through them in the first several years of said relationship. In postponing these conversations, you maintain some semblance of mystery and self-hood. The process of having one of these results one of the participants being spiritually absorbed, to the one-hundredth part, by the hungrier party. This is usually the woman who is the devourer. It is never a bright thing to allow oneself to be spiritually phagocytized.

I was recently eating lunch with my son G at Gateway Market, our local version of Whole Foods, and I saw this couple in earnest conversation. What could he be saying that left the young lady in such a serious pose? I could imagine this:

Marty: “You know, you were the best of the lot.”

Rose: “What do you mean.”

Marty: “I figured I had these criteria when I was single and looking around. Looks, money, intelligence, personality, and cooking ability.” 

Rose: “Oh. What are you saying, I was a compromise.”

Marty: “No, you are the complete package, sweetums.”

And that would be it. Marty has no where to go but down. This picture was taken probably about ninety minutes after the start of the conversation. 

Rose: “So you mean there were prettier girls?”

Marty: “In one sense, sure, but that’s when you break down looks by face, boobs, legs, and ass. Any one woman may predominate in one category, but might be completely zero in other more important categories.”

Rose: “So you made a conscious choice? You had a spreadsheet!”

Marty: “No honey, when I saw you, I knew you were the one…”

As G and I smacked away at our food, the Titanic was sinking right before us. Here was the human condition at a yuppy café in Des Moines. 

Rose: “What kind person are you! Do I know you! How can you reduce a woman down to parts like a chicken -drumstick, thigh, breast and wing? How dare you sum me up by personability and money and the ability to make a soufflé!”

Marty: “Snookums, I was just making conversation.”

This is why the couples that last 50-75 years together sit in resplendent silence. Our life spans are far beyond what nature had intended. Nature had intended that we be run down by hyenas at the ripe old age of 20. My advice: shut up!

What honey? I’m talking to the people in the computer again. About nothing…

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