A and I both need new glasses - his being totally unflattering and mine needing a revamp after six years - so we decided to make a stop at my favorite shop in the city after watching a football (re: soccer) game on Bleecker.
We both thought it might be fun. Or rather, I thought we both thought it might be fun.
He tried on a couple, got frustrated ("I just don't look good in glasses"), and then proceeded to disengage. At first, I attempted to draw him back in - try these ones, I like those. When that didn't work, I went about my business, asking his opinion - this pair or that pair? After ten minutes, I couldn't take it anymore. The stiff posture, the glazed over gaze out the window, the flippant responses. I asked the saleswoman to jot down the style numbers of the two I liked, and we left. He grabbed my hand, and I made no effort to hide my annoyance.
"What was that all about?"
"I'm sorry, I know I was impatient, but you weren't going to buy anything just then. I wasn't going to buy anything just then. The ones you tried on were basically the same. I don't know what to say."
"If I'm going to spend $600 dollars on something that will go on my face for years and years, I want to be sure about it. Next time if you don't want to be somewhere just tell me; don't be a brat about it."
"You're right, you're right. I will."
"It's fine. We're learning each other. Now I know not take you with me when I actually buy a pair in July."
The words came out meaner, more embittered in person, but we laughed (sort of) and walked into Uniqlo. He pointed upstairs, and I let him go off on his own. When he found me again, I was standing in the mile-long fitting room line, armful of clothes. Raised eyebrows and a smile. "I'm in a bad mood. I needed a distraction."
A joint fitting room session, two button downs for him, and two dresses for me later, we were on the train uptown to meet a friend, slightly more upbeat. He didn't make fun of me for forgetting Lincoln Center is on the West Side, and he gladly gulped his wine in the 20 minutes we had before my friend left to catch a show.
Then we had some time alone. Maybe it was the wine. Maybe it was the beautiful weather. Maybe I realized I was a bit of a brat myself. Maybe he didn't want me to be upset with him anymore. We talked it out. We laughed (genuinely).