Couple’s lackluster public display of affection disappoints

An ice skating couple in Bryant Park failed to live up to Hollywood’s cinematic expectations. She did not lean in for a dramatic first kiss, as is the norm in today’s romantic films./ Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

As the holidays quickly approach, love is in the air. Joy, kindness, season’s greetings and feelings of overall cheer are present all around us. It is only natural to catch feels for a certain, special someone in your life! One of my all-time favorite holiday traditions is watching the cheesy Hallmark movies, which are already in full swing! Another one of my favorite holiday-related activities, or actually just one of my favorite activities in general, is people watching. I mean, who doesn’t get a kick out of examining other’s behavior and making subsequent judgments?

In particular, my best friend and I have an absolute ball analyzing others’ behavior and imagining what will happen later in their lives. This past weekend, my friend came to visit, and we spent the weekend in the city—quite possibly the best place in the world to people watch! The congestion of people makes it so difficult to choose who to focus on. There’s just so much happening all at once. We found a comfortable seat in Bryant Park and spent upwards of three hours watching people glide around the ice skating rink.

We got to observe many distinct groups of people showing off their skills on the ice to their friends and respective partners. Our eyes darted back and forth from group to group when there was someone performing a multitude of stunts. During this time, we also decided to rate the ice skaters. Although we are by no means superior ice skaters, we experienced great joy in pointing out who was the best and who was the worst on the ice.

There was an interlude in this activity when our eyes and hearts were stirred by a young couple. We got very excited because this exact scene could easily have come straight out of a Hallmark movie. These people were going to fall in love by the end of the evening because that’s just how the story always goes. We visualized the plot for our perfect holiday movie and the journey began to unfold.

It appeared that our starring couple was one their first date. How exciting! But also, how stressful, scary and awkward it must have been! I don’t know about you, but I think first dates are the worst. There is so much anticipation for how the date should play out, the preparation for the date and if you’ll actually end up planning a second date. Stepping out of the realm of being just friends with someone and moving on to a dating relationship can alter the established friendship in drastic ways. I believe this is what was going through the minds of the protagonists of our imagined Hallmark film. Through their body language, it was clearly visible that these two liked each other. However, neither was taking any initiative!

The woman in the couple was wearing a purple coat, and the guy was dressed in blue, making it easy for us to spot them in the large crowd. Most of the times we saw them pass us on the rink, their hands were stuffed into their pockets, preventing that first awkward instance of hand-holding we were hoping for. As we continued to watch throughout the night, it was blatantly obvious that they wanted to enjoy each other’s touch.

But they just kept moving further away from each other as they glided on the ice. The man in this relationship was attempting to show off by skating ahead of her and performing tricks, but this was clearly the wrong move. If he had slowed down, as any intelligent Hallmark movie character would have done, he’d have noticed that her hands were by her side and not in the confines of her pockets. A glimmer of hope finally emerged when the man at last slowed down and both of their hands were removed from their pockets.

This was the finale we had been anticipating all night. They were finally going to hold hands and fall in love and live happily ever after because that’s what people tend to do in the movies. However, the most tragic aspect of this romantic saga was that the couple was not able to properly hold hands. When their hands embraced, they could only interlock two fingers in a strange and uncomfortable fashion.

It was the most cringe-worthy hand holding I have ever witnessed; it was downright painful to watch. That must be why it only lasted one lap around the rink. To our dismay, our movie did not appear to have a happy ending in sight. I guess we should have been more thoughtful during the casting process as opposed to selecting the first random couple that caught our attention.

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