A couple comes in to the bar last week. He’s intelligent-looking, with stylish glasses and salt-and-peppered hair, and nicely dressed. She’s a vision of adorableness: petite, with innocent eyes, a gorgeous smile, and the body of an angel. They grab a table in the bar and sit on the same side of it together, all cute-like. They hold hands and whisper in each other’s ear as they sip their cocktails.
Ordinarily these two would be any bartender’s ideal customers. They’re polite, they’re tipping, and they seem to be low-maintenance. But I know something you don’t know: These people are fucking psychotic.
They come in once a month, just rarely enough for me to remember them. And I always forget, it’s terrible. I forget, and since all I remember is their nice, friendly faces, I’m almost happy to see them. That all changes when I walk over to their table to clear their fourth round.
And it hits me: Holy shit, are these people are in the middle of the most mentally abusive breakup ever? Did I just overhear him call her the c-word? Did she just tell him that she screwed his best friend? Oh my God, is he crying? What the fuck?!
It happens every time. They break up every time they come in to my bar. Every. Single. Time. And every time, he leaves. He pays the bill and storms out, leaving her a husk, a shell, whimpering at the table. It’s the saddest thing you’ve ever seen, until you see what happens next.
She goes into the bathroom, and when she comes out, she’s happier than you’ve ever seen her before. She sits down with a group of business guys and chats them up. They buy her a drink and ask her if she’s okay. She tells her psychotic story, that he’s a jerk, that she gave back his engagement ring tonight, and so on. I don’t know who to feel sorry for, him or her. But he’s gone, and she’s sitting here, so I guess I’m feeling a little sorry for her, even though I know she’s completely insane.
I make sure to keep one eye out for her safety as I do my side work behind the bar, but she doesn’t need my help – the men slowly slide away as they come to the same realization. She then turns her attention to me, tells me the same story I’ve heard countless times before, and the next thing you know I’m putting her in a cab and slipping the driver twenty bucks to make sure she gets home safely.
They’ll be back in about six weeks and we’ll go through all of this again. Ain’t love grand?