Dear Happy Couples: I Hate You
I hate you. Every time I see a couple walking down the street in that obnoxious, we-can’t-stand-to-be-separated-so-we-lock-arms-around-each-other’s-waists-and-block-the-whole-goddamn-sidewalk way, I vomit all over myself and scream internally. Okay, I don’t vomit, but I suddenly hate everything around me. I have to be like, “Excuse me, let me break up your family Christmas card photoshoot and push my way through with my giant cup of coffee and my dark, stinky aloneness. Sorry for bringing your day down with my presence, you can go back to your regularly scheduled “staring longingly into each other’s eyes” now. Ugh.
What do you want me to say? Yes, I hate you because I’m jealous. I’m a petty, jealous, lame human being who is handicapped by her own inability to get past her childish emotions and see people as individuals. To me, you’re all just “evil couples” now, and any hatred I have towards you is magically justified by the fact that you guys get to go home and spoon while I’m sitting on my couch watching reruns of 30 Rock and wondering when I’m gonna have an apartment big enough to get a cat. Yes, I want a cat. I know, I’m a Cathy comic come to life. Next, I’m going to join a Cake Pop-Of-The-Month club and get a prescription for Lexapro. The transformation is well on its way to complete.
And yes, if I really think about it, I don’t actually hate you. At least not in any real, concrete way. I don’t hate you like someone hates the person who slept with their spouse, or Captain America hates Hitler and cursing. But I get really sad and mad when I’m around you because you remind me that I don’t have all the things I want right now, and I don’t know how to remedy it. (If you’re wondering, I’ve tried online dating. I’ve let people set me up. But, aside from the occasional free dinner at Mexican restaurants and hours of stilted conversation, I haven’t really gotten much out of the experience.)
I guess what upsets me most is that you remind me that I actually care that I’m alone, that it’s something upsetting enough that it makes me hate other people for having it when I don’t. I would like to imagine that I’m a more evolved, mature person who is capable of being happy for others even when it doesn’t directly benefit me. And yet, I constantly find myself staring longingly at the couple across the cafe and simultaneously getting filled with rage and overwhelmed with affection when they do something obnoxious and couple-y, such as feed each other dessert. You have something that I don’t want to acknowledge, but which seems to dictate so much of my own life.
So, maybe like most things, I should actually be redirecting this boiling hatred to the real culprit — a society which tells me that I am essentially the human equivalent of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of someone’s shoe until my knight in shining armor comes and rescues me from my life of takeout food and complaining on the internet. But it’s hard to hate something as abstract as societal norms, and I am lazy, so I’ll keep my hatred where it feels best — directed at the couple in front of me in the movie theater who won’t stop kissing. I hope you burst into flames.
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”