It’s amazing what you can learn listening to other people’s conversations.
I don’t mean eavesdropping – that would be rude. But if you’re in a place like, say, a bus, and people around you want to talk loudly about things that may or may not be personal, it’s really kinda hard to tune them out. I know because I do ride a bus and I really have – honestly! – tried to tune out conversations, often to no avail.
I’ve learned about women cheating on their husbands, nurses despising their bosses, which med school courses and professors are easier than others, who has the better burgers. People talk about their babysitters, their children, their spouses, their finances, their vacations – everything is open on the bus.
Today, though, I learned something new. Today I actually stopped trying to tune out the conversation I thought I was hearing to actually listen in, just to see if what I was hearing was really happening.
Two guys, in their early to mid-20s, were talking about the best time of year to get married.
Before you get carried away, or decide you’re not really all that surprised (“Oh, sure, they’re trying to find the ideal time in between the seasons – basketball, baseball and football!”), let me explain. They weren’t talking sports, or weather, or even holidays.
They were looking at the things going on in their lives and trying to decide around that.
The funny part of the conversation was that neither of the guys was even engaged – and that became really the point of their conversation. If they could determine what would be the best time to get married, then they’d have a better idea of when they should get engaged.
The one guy seemed to have it all figured out. He had this set of classes coming up this semester, then another set, then residency – and he wanted to have a ring on her finger before he started residency.
The second guy made me laugh – out loud, so I had to look at my phone and pretend I was seeing something funny. As he was contemplating the best time of year to get married, and thus engaged, he decided that “if we’re still together this time next year, I’ll buy her a ring.”
Ummm … what? If you’re still together, you’ll buy her a ring? Because what, there’s nothing better to do? If you’re that unsure about your relationship lasting another year, why in the world are you thinking you’ll buy a ring with the hope that it lasts forever?
I don’t mean to stereotype, I really don’t – I think it’s wonderful that Guy No. 1 has it all set up and knows how to make the most of his time and enjoy his engagement and wedding. But Guy No. 2 … well, he’s kind of the reason wedding planning magazines are targeted to the brides.