Married couples accompany the singletons of their life to dark red bars and sit at small round tables beside one another, communicating with their bodies as they smile politely at their single friends. She rubs her husband’s knee under the table as he performs a witty story she’s heard at least four times before. She doesn’t worry she’ll offend him if she picks up her cell phone. Mrs. Married Smug is wearing something black and low cut, but she wants to be wearing pajamas or at least a turtleneck because it’s cold outside. But, Mr. Smug will ask, “Is that what you’re wearing?” before they leave. So, she’ll change. I used to be “she,” the one who changed because he said, “you dress like you’re 40. Can’t you buy a new coat? No one our age wears a long coat. Go shopping.”
Thanks asshole. With the money I have left over after paying all our bills, and your bills, I’ll be sure to swing by Burberry’s and stare at all the coats you think I should wear that I can’t afford. Good plan.
The singletons across from the Smugs aren’t cosmopolitan pink single; they’ve been dating one another for four years. She wonders why they’re not married yet. Shit, they’ve been together longer than The Smugs. Mrs. Smug will go home, telling Mr. Smug how happy she is that they are married while she removes her mascara with a cotton ball. “I can’t believe they are still not married. What are they waiting for?”
“Seriously.” Mr. Smug will add with great economy as he chooses his tie for the next day.
They will climb into bed and talk until their words retard and drift into sleep. The singletons will sleep, too, but their bodies will not touch. She’s pissed off that they’re still not married. He’ll spend the night trying to convince her that it will happen eventually. She will have cried her mascara off into the pillowcase that he’ll wash on Sunday to show her how much he loves her. She doesn’t want him to do the Laundry. She wants him to make her an equal… to him, and to her friends, The Smugs.