So I like watching other people on dates. And before you label me as a creepy stalker, just hear me out. I love love, especially at the “new” stage. This is where the “best-versions” of people come out. The hope-filled, anything’s-possible, maybe-it’s-you phase is so beautiful to witness. The other day I was in a Starbucks, trying to work on my novel and instead, I found myself surrounded by people on dates. Whether first or fifth, I couldn’t be sure, but each couple was still quite obviously into making impressions of the best kind.
The guys at both tables actually looked at the girls they were speaking with. They didn’t stray to their phones, check their watches or seem anything but enamored with the conversation they created. They asked “favorites” questions and spoke about jobs and trips and wishes. The girl at one table couldn’t stop smiling, whether or not the conversation called for it, and I couldn’t stop smiling at the possibilities of something more before me.
Why can’t it always be that awesome? Why can’t every couple act as if it were a first date scenario? I mean, I love the fact that the guy in front of me just complemented the girl’s eyes just so he had an excuse to stare into them. Or that the laughter was accompanied by a gentle touch on the shoulder which then elicited the interruption of a semi-shy smile.
There is a beauty to old love … a grace and comfort that cannot be replicated. It’s like looking at a very worn painting, whose lines have faded, only making the image dream-like and more appealing somehow. But there is something to this new stage which magnetizes me. It’s the way they both sit up too straight, subconsciously tug at the hem of their shirts or thread their fingers through their hair to blindly make sure nothing has fell wildly out of place. It’s the way they sip their drinks slowly, the still-floating ice cubes giving the conversation permission to carry on. It’s the way she chose the seat under the lighting that would flatter her, and the way he angled his chair so that it just brushed hers.
I hope, when they have decided to move on from date one, or five, or twenty to “let’s-give-this-a-try-for-real,” they remember this night at Starbucks. This date where they were so very awkwardly-perfect. Because it is this foundation of nervous, wonderful, is-this-really-happening moments that build a foundation worth building on. I hope, for them, it’s real.