Her: “I’m not high-maintenance. I just like nice things.”
She has a brightly colored folder labeled “Hawaii” open on the table. They are a new-ish couple headed on their first vacation, negotiating the terms of how it will go.
Him: “I don’t want to have everything planned out the whole time. It’s a vacation. But I do want to drive up Haleakala.”
Her: “Definitely not plan everything out. For sure. I’m fine having a hamburger by the pool. But it would be good to get a cabana at the pool or beach. Are you okay if I reserve a cabana. We need to do that ahead?”
Him: “Of course. Beach. Pool. Beach.”
Her: “And at least one spa day. Maybe two. Spa is better in the afternoon. And so you know, after a spa day, I’m going to be in the zone. No fancy dinner. Maybe just a drink at the bar. I won’t want to take a long time getting dressed to go out for dinner.”
Him: “It’s vacation. We don’t need to spend a lot of time at all getting dressed up.”
Her: “Sweetheart, you’re a guy. It takes you five minutes to get dressed. More work for us.”
Him: “I don’t want three big meals a day. Simple is good. Maybe one. No roasted pig on the beach.”
Her: “That’s fine….hamburger by the pool… fine.”
Him: “It seems like you have lots of rules about relationships.”
Her: “Do I not abide by them?”
Him: “You really are quite—”
There is a big noise as as a server delivers food to a nearby table and another party shares a big laugh. We are at Pizzeria Delfina and I’m sitting at the table immediately next to the couple…eavesdropping. Well, I’m eating pizza too, but the conversation is more interesting that the salsiccia pizza, good as that is. I like being the mouse on the wall as this couple figures it out: how much luggage to bring, what to do the first day, how they are with each other. At first I try to do some mental version of la-la-la-la and not hear what’s going on. But our tables are only about ten inches apart, it’s impossible, and clearly there’s no presumption of privacy.
And I’m annoyed that I have lost a very important word.
Him: “Did I tell you how much I liked you in the dress the other night?”
Her: “It’s hard for me to find clothes because I’m so big busted.”