We both live in unusually walkable parts of town, with lots of shops, interesting people to watch, and beautiful homes tucked away on quiet canyon streets. The early evening is the best time to go. The air starts to cool, the streets grow quieter as people settle in for dinner, and, as it starts to get dark, the beautiful living rooms light up to allow a sly peek inside as we stroll by and pretend we actually belong there.We never run out of things to look at....and judge.
The other night on one of our evening constitutionals (I always love that image. It makes me fantasize a little about maybe growing old together and slowly evolving into that graying couple that you spot every night walking the neighborhood, hands clasped), I paid a little more attention to our conversation.
"Look at that house, it is stunning."
"Oh my God, that is the ugliest re-model I've ever seen."
"That front porch is amazing, but those awnings are terrible."
That kind of thing. After about an hour of this (and it was terribly fun), I couldn't help but point out how judgemental we were being. He agreed and after that it became kind of our little joke. We started simplifying our observations to overly enthusiastic cheers directed at the things we liked, "Yay, landscaping!" or total rejection of what we disapproved of, "Boo, patio furniture!"
Leave it to me to take it to the next level by adding my exaggerated cheerleader moves perfected from four years of mocking the cheerleaders during high school football games. Let's just say I probably made a few people peep out their windows wondering what the hell was going on outside...before Wine Guy rushed me away, that is.
It was our best walk yet.
As our stroll wound down, I accidentally stumbled across a possible theory (who doesn't need more of those, right?) on what this whole "coupling up" phenomenon might really be about. Maybe we are just supposed to find that one person we can tolerate attaching ourselves to (and vice versa) so we can go through life aligned as one, cohesive unit - to tackle whatever the world throws at us for the rest of our lives. On a day to day level, this very likely boils down to this - you and your mate are essentially teammates who walk through the world together, judging everything as one.
Good restaurant. Bad movie. Worthwhile friend. Terrible cousin.
Basically, the idea is that you have an ally. Someone that you know will never judge you (hopefully) so you feel safe enough to judge everything else -- together. Aww, how sweet. There is even a term for it coined by Bridget Jones herself (yes, I just quoted goddamn Bridget Jones in this blog. Oy vey.....) a Smug Married.
As Wine Guy and I laughed about this concept, I asked him, "What do you think is the one thing most frequently judged by these smug couples?"
He couldn't venture a guess.
I think my response was frighteningly true. "Single people, of course."