Everything has an end. The question is simply when is the end. Sometimes you know when the end is coming and sometimes it comes out of nowhere. This one came out of nowhere.
The evening started with us going out to a quiet romantic cocktail lounge to celebrate Valentine’s Day and ended with a grab for a coat and a furious storming out. Ben and I sat there in shock wondering WTF happened. This isn’t about our relationship being over. We’re FINE. It’s another couple’s that we (accidentally? mistakenly?) had a hand in.
Because of my work schedule, we usually celebrate Valentine’s Day on another day and Valentine’s Day in NYC is insane. Every romantic restaurant, wine bar, cocktail lounge, what-have-you is packed with couples and ironically feels less romantic for it. We decided to go out the day after and chose Clover Club because of its cozy back room with a roaring fireplace. The seats by the fireplace were already taken, so we sat on a settee and ordered our drinks and food. (As an aside, the food there is absolutely delicious and I highly recommend the steak on toast and sweet and spicy nuts.)
When the couple who sat by the fireplace paid up and left, I quickly pounced on those coveted seats. As we enjoyed our remaining drinks, our conversation wandered over to politics as it normally does. As we were debating, a woman who was seated fairly close to Ben since we had changed seats leaned over and said, “Sorry to interrupt, but I couldn’t help but overhear.” Her companion had left to go use the restroom, so she was temporarily alone. She joined in our conversation and we began discussing politics with her. She was a lawyer and interested in talking about the current political climate and the travel ban. We were having a lively, spirited, and enjoyable discussion when her companion came back.
He was mildly upset that we were talking politics because he had no interest in the conversation. She tried to engage him, but he felt 1) there’s nothing you can do about what’s going on nationally and you can only control things immediately surrounding you and 2) he wanted to spend his time talking to her, not to us.
This is when things become “interesting.”
He forcibly tried to end the conversation and she got upset by his rude behavior. They had a furious exchange of words and she stood up to put on her coat. Ben and I looked at each other slightly alarmed because it’s always uncomfortable when another couple argues in front of you. Suddenly she stormed out of Clover Club without him. Ben and I sat there in disbelief by what we saw. Naturally we had to talk about it, but couldn’t because the guy was right there next to us, so we pulled out our phones and began intensely texting each other.
Apparently this was the wrong move because he became incensed with Ben. I understand that to an outside party, it looks really sad that Ben and I are “ignoring” each other and paying more attention to our devices, but we were actually talking to each other. For several minutes he chewed Ben out for ignoring me (honestly shouldn’t he have included me in this because I was just as guilty of “ignoring” Ben), his choice of clothing (the guy felt that a sports jacket, dark jeans, and loafers were not up to snuff) and blamed Ben for dragging his girl into our conversation. He went on about how hard he had worked to try to convince her to go out with him and now we had ruined everything. As he was railing on, Ben and I continued to text each other. Then he called Ben a bunch of names and stormed out himself.
We sat in shock as we tried to absorb what had just happened. So many questions. I didn’t know this because I missed a part of the conversation, but the woman is engaged to another man, who clearly is not the guy she was with because her fiance is Indian and this guy was lily white. If she’s engaged then why was she out on what looked like a date with this guy? They seemed very cozy, a little too cozy for a platonic outing and I’m not one of those people who thinks that men and women can’t be platonic friends. I have male friends and sometimes I go out with them without Ben.
We decompressed by the fire for a bit before leaving. We spent the rest of our night at home trying to parse out what exactly happened and what the story was. We think they’re friends (maybe not anymore), but he’s clearly interested in her romantically, but is stymied by the fact that she’s engaged. She may or may not reciprocated some of those feelings. After a lot of work on his part to persuade her to go out with him, she agreed. Either she knowingly and openly went out on a date with him OR she convinced herself that it’s just two friends going out for drinks and nothing more.
There’s something clearly going on because the argument that they had is not an argument that two friends have. It’s the type of argument that a couple has. There’s definitely an underlying issue between them and whatever involvement that Ben and I had was merely the spark because happy stable couples don’t fall apart like this.
So many questions. Unfortunately we’ll never know was the backstory and we’ll never know what happened the day after.
Basically this is a long-winded way of saying that Ben and I celebrated Valentine’s Day by breaking up a couple.
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you need us to break up a couple? We’re for available for hire.