I took my dog for a walk one day at a park by a lake. After walking around the lake, it was such a nice day I decided to sit down on a bench under a shade tree beside the water to watch the ducks play. My dog sat beside me while I perused my cell phone for the latest news and information. As I sat there, two young teenagers came walking along the path not far from me. They appeared to be in their later years of high school, since at least one of them had been driving. They walked close enough to me that I felt the need to acknowledge them with a head bob, which I did. They were too engrossed in their intense conversation to notice, however, so I turned back toward the lake and continued looking at my phone.
As they walked a few feet past me, they stopped and sat down on the grass along the water’s edge. There were only one or two others present, and they were on the other side of the lake, unable to hear. The teens’ conversation, if normal, would have been too low for me to notice, but in this situation, that wasn’t the case. It appeared the young lady was upset with her boyfriend, a point I deciphered from their conversation. My intent was not to eavesdrop, but their conversation was so elevated and heated that I had no choice. I did give them the courtesy of not staring at them, but they paid no attention anyway.
As I overheard the girl berate her beau for apparently going out with someone else, who undoubtedly talked about it with yet another person, who in turn relayed it back to the young lady who was now sitting near me, I could sense what I thought was about to take place. My guess from years of experience, albeit from long ago now, was that she would become angrier the longer she spoke with him after hearing his, in her opinion, lame excuse for what he had done. Then I suspected, feeling he was in a situation he couldn’t escape from with any sense of victory, that he would eventually get up and threaten to leave (at worst), or simply take her home. At that point, if what I’d seen before (in other scenarios not involving me, of course) was any indication, she would begin to cry, and her emotions would unravel. He would become embarrassed further and want to leave that much faster, and then it would become ugly, at least until they got into their car and left.
As it turned out my intuition was correct. After hearing several more minutes of details from her about what he did (all hearsay, I must admit, from his girlfriend), where he went with this other girl and how upset it made his girlfriend feel, he got up and said: “We need to go!” I presumed this meant to take her home.
And just as I anticipated, she began crying somewhat loudly, only to follow that up with walking along behind him, professing her love and demanding an explanation as to how he could have done this to her. It wasn’t pretty, but it could have been worse, I guess. Ultimately, they got in his car and left.
As I watched this event unfold, I realized that only after the young man got up to leave in the end did he notice me sitting there the entire time. He appeared, as I imagined he would, quite embarrassed that his “personal business” had been put on public display. I could understand those feelings, as well; I could also understand his girlfriend’s hurt. It made me realize with even more clarity just how the older generation understands things so much more than young people realize. They feel embarrassed in the moment, not recognizing that in reality, the older folks watching have likely been on her or his side at one point themselves. These experienced adults see how things can happen, what precedes them and what options are available after the situation has occurred. A lot can be learned seeking advice from these mature individuals, if only the young realized it. Yet, it’s not likely they ever will, until such day as they become a part of the older demographic. Their vision then becomes 20/20.
As for advice for the young couple, I think the great Bob Marley said it best. For the young man, “The biggest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her.” And as for the young lady, “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just have to find the ones worth suffering for.”
I hope this young couple was able to resolve their differences in whatever way was best for them. I have a sense they did, and as proven, my senses are pretty good.
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