Beyond Blue

Relax…have fun. It seems like an easy enough way to prevent and relieve depression. But my last two date nights with Eric haven’t gone so well.

We spent our Valentine’s Day dinner listening to the couple next to us get a divorce.

I tried to tune out the conversation, but their table was eight inches away from ours at a cozy sushi bar downtown. The mean bride, practically in my lap, spoke with a deep voice that carried over any kitchen commotion.

“I just have to be honest,” she began, digging into her chocolate-raspberry torte. “My family doesn’t like you. My friends don’t like you. Your friends don’t even like you. I vomit every time I look at you.” (Okay, I made the last one up.)

He ignored her, more concerned about claiming his half of the decadent desert.

“Everyone is always asking me how I could be married to someone so cold,” she continued. “My sisters have never felt comfortable around you. All of our friends–Mark, Shannon, Steve–think you act differently around me than you do when I’m not around.”

And after a six-second, uncomfortable pause: “Be however you want. I’m just telling you what people think.”

It was getting so bloody painful. I couldn’t take it. So I interrupted.

“Excuse me,” I said. “Is that the flourless five-layer chocolate cake?” Eric stared down his California spring roll and then, with the concentration of a brain surgeon, used his chopsticks to bring the thing to his mouth.

“Yeah!” she said, more excited about that than the last five years with her loser husband whom nobody liked and who was getting dumped on Valentine’s Day.

“It’s wonderful. If you like really rich chocolate dishes.”

“It’s not that great,” Mr. Split Personality chimed in. Of course it isn’t. Nothing would appeal to you right now.

Finally their conversation moved on to food (how he is a lousy judge of any meal because he has no taste), so that Eric and I could resume talking. And try to have a little fun. Because that’s what my doctor ordered.

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