People Watching

Sometime last summer, my friend N. and I went to the beach for the day, saw way too much PDA, and came back to the city feeling just a little too full of love. The roses, the sappy words, the vaguely saccharine smell of the air. It was all too much for two women suffering the pains of RRR [recent romantic rejection].

So, like any responsible twenty-somethings, we decided to go w[h]ine about it together over a glass at a bar with an appropriately dim level of light. Much to our surprise (and maybe even delight after a day such as that), what was going on two tables away from ours was the other side of love: a real-live, better than reality TV break-up. It was clear that He had come here to do his Euro-thang and open his perspective of the world and marvel at the good public transit. Then, a month or two in, She had come to visit (probably in matching bra-and-underwear), thrilled to see him, shocked that He wasn’t exactly reciprocating her warm feelings. As a consequence, the Break-up Conversation began to happen. Usually hidden behind closed doors, thanks to the safety of the presumed language barrier, this couple took their English-speaking eeeeend oooof the roooooad-(cue: Boyz-ii-men)-talk to the bar.


It was painful for them, yes, we recognized that, especially as two women who had been through that not-so-happy day ourselves. At the same time there was something so delightfully honest and refreshing about it.

AHH. Yes, everything comes up daisies, for a time, but PDA at the beach is never the whole story.

Okay. Long aside over. Anyhoo. N. and I, walking around the same part of town just over a year later (a.k.a. yesterday) decided we’d go back to that same bar and repeat our glass-of-red-trick and see what kind of people watching was to be done on this perfect October night.

Nope, no more breakups. BUUUUUT, two first dates. Few things are more entertaining than glancing over a few tables to see couple one (one Brit, one American) and at the bar, couple two (one American, one Scandinavian) and imagining exactly what was going on.

Couple two looked like a Tinder couple. Two swipes right (or is it left?) and bam! they were on a date. Desperate to prove her “open-minded American” credentials (we all have to show we’re not like the barking box news anchors at some point in time over here), she went on about how she’d lived in Denver, and how expensive it was to buy a house, and healthcare something-or-other (don’t lie, expats, you know you’ve had this conversation), and he…listened. Holy cow. The man was patient. He couldn’t get in a word edgewise, because she, in her plaid shirt and slightly grown out hair-coloring, was on a rollll.

Meanwhile, couple one was your more classic Anglo-Saxon first date profile–you know these types, too–too reserved to talk until they were two drinks in, He, trying to look casual (or just unintentionally oblivious to dating dress code) by wearing a zip-hoodie and light colored jeans, She, froofing her hair and putting on chap-stick when he was on bathroom break number one. They were sitting at a four-top, but on a diagonal, as if to say, “I’m on this date, but I’m still skeptical of being in comfortable kissing distance of you.” Their show was one of body language only, not because they weren’t talking, but because anything they said was drowned out by the non-stop Plaid Thang at the bar.

In all fairness, N. and I decided they had probably sized us up, too, saying in a light, pitying mental voice: “Oh, would you just look at the two sad girls out together since they couldn’t get any shared swipes this weekend, choking their sorrows with a cheese plate and tinto. If that one could just get some mascara and the other stop checking her phone for 11th-hour suitors, maybe they’d have a chance.”

Conclusion: I’m sure the looks of things don’t always tell the whole story. But, then who would have anything to talk about? I’ll just do the Freudian thing and blame it on my mom. She’s who I learned this skill from (and the real reason I can have a great time people watching).

In other news: here are a few recent and not-so-recent photos

photo 1 (1)

Chilling in C-boro with D. and the Momason.

photo 2 (2)

Spent a day or two working at the super-sleek Liberry while D. did his lab thing.

 photo 3 (2)

Enjoy a yummy first lunch with C. at Brunch and Cake.

photo 4 (2)

Girls’ Night in Gràcia.

photo 5 (1)

Walking around Sant Pere.

photo 2 (3)

N. got a tattoo. I waiting in the lobby for moral support as I read about how to be a good teacher.

photo 3 (3)

Wandering in el Barri Gòtic with N., en route to our people watching spots.

photo 4 (3)

Barna in the fall!


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