(I bet even ScarJo & RyRey are guilty of a couple of these)
It’s Go Time.
A little known fact about your friend RTH is that I have a Doctorate from The School Of Hard Knocks. In fact, it’s a PhD in Amateur Psychology. My specialty? Relationships, with special emphasis on Contradictory, Baffling and Counterproductive Coupledom.
What, you think I picked “Dr. Beardhussein” out of a hat?
Anyway, being the only single guy in my little social circle, I have plenty of time to look around and observe the stuff my relationship’d up friends do. Plus, spending as much time as I do on the MySpace and the Facebook, I’ve noticed other things people on my friends list(s) do. Frankly, a lot of it doesn’t make any sense, and a lot of it is HI-larious.
That being said, I’d like to present to you the definitive Annoying Couple Scale, or “A.C.S.” for short. Finally, a compendium of all of the stuff couples do that annoys everybody–family, friends, even other couplers that may or may not be guilty of similar infractions. So, with no further ado, here is the scale, which goes from a “0” (not bad by an stretch of the imagination) to “10” (someone might honestly swing on one or both of the couplers if it persists).
Oh, and before I get started, special thanks to ESPN.com’s Bill “The Sports Guy” Simmons, who has run several columns like this before. Don’t think of it as biting, think of it as an homage.
Heeeeere we go!
The Annoying Couple Scale:
0- No infractions whatsoever. A couple that plays together, respects each other’s friends and families, and always either chips in for food/booze, or helps clean up at the end of the nite. (Warning, these kinds of phenomenons never last for long. This behavior always has an expiration date.)
1- “Sure! Sounds awesome! Lemme just see what ___ wants to do.” (This could also be put on the “Shitty Friend Stuff” list, but we’re keeping this lighthearted. This one is annoying because it’s impossible to make plans when Billy Boyfriend has to get permission from Gertrude Girlfriend as to whether or not he can accept an invitation to a party thrown by a friend he’s had since 4th grade).
1.5- Combination of Names On A Vanity Plate. (Aww, there goes “FrnkSara”‘s Altima! Aww, there goes RTH’s lunch all over the dashboard!)
2- Matching Team Jerseys. (This one only applies if one of the couplers has never had any loyalty to the team whose jersey they’re wearing. Counts for double if it’s from a sport that, prior to dating their significant other, they either had no knowledge of or no interest in. “No! No! I always liked the San Jose Sharks! My best friend in 7th Grade Art was named Jose so I started rooting for them!” or “Are you crazy? I love Major League Soccer! GO GALAXY!” )
2.5- Tandom Answering Machine Outgoing Messages. (This one would be a more egregious offense except that I’m convinced nobody does this in real life. Still, it must be included. “Hi!” “It’s Frank!” “And Sarah!” “We can’t get to!” “The Phone right now!” “But leave a message!” “And we’ll get back to you!”. Um, no.)
3- Faux-Indifferent Code Names For Significant Other. (“Yeah, sorry guys, I gotta go hang out with the ol’ ball’n’chain tonite.” Dude, you’re not sorry. In fact, it was YOU who said, “It’s okay hun, I’m just going for a bit so they don’t give me hell. I’ll be home by 9pm.” or, the female, “Oh, sorry for texting the entire time I was here, it’s ol’ Stupid bothering me again.” Chica, you’re not sorry. In fact, it was you who texted “Ol’ Stupid” with “So am I c-ing u 2night??????” while you were still in the car.)
3.5- “Sorry, it’s **insert name of TV show** with ___ nite. We’ll catch up another time!” (Date Nites? Completely understandable. Appointment TV nites with your significant other over hanging with friends? Not cool. Why? Because unless it’s a live event, the show will either be re-run status over the summer, or on DVD in the fall. You can afford to miss this week’s episode of “Photogenic White People Have Problems Too” or “Ign’ant Minority Folks Sho’ Love Bein’ On TV”.)
4- Matching Cell Phones. (Economical? Sure, if you’re on a family plan together you can get 2 identical phones for cheap. Otherwise, it’s just overkill. “I got the pink one!”, “I got the black one!”, “My ringtone is Kelly Clarkson!”, “My ringtone is the theme song to ‘Thunder Cats’!”. And then blood shoots out of Rey’s eyes.)
4.5- Combination E-Mail Addresses. (Okay, e-mail is free. You don’t have to double up, so Why is your e-mail address “FrankNSarah4Eva”? Why do I need to censor the e-mail I send to Frank? If I see something that’s funny or gross in an inappropriate-for-girlfriend way and wanna send it, I can’t. You know why? Because Sarah’s f**king nosey, that’s why.)
5- More Than 3 Overly Affectionate/Hyperbolic Social Networking Site Statuses Per Week. (Because nobody needs to be continually bombarded with any of the following MySpace/Facebook/Twitter Status Messages: “Missing my honey!” should have a warning preceding it. Seriously, I’ve embedded 3 wireless keyboards into the sheetrock in front of my monitor over this one. “Relaxing with my baby!” carries an ellipse with it along the lines of “…and you’re at home reading this! Light yourself on fire!”. “Can’t wait to see my beautiful girlfriend/handsome boyfriend!” can be translated roughly into “I have a boyfriend! I have a boyfriend! I have a boyfriend! Did I mention my boyfriend? I have a boyfriend!”–or girlfriend, whatever.)
5.5- “My boyfriend/girlfriend, ____.” (Look, we know you have a boyfriend/girlfriend. Stop always referring to them as “My boyfriend Chuck” or “My girlfriend Chuckina”. Just say their name. We read your friggin’ status messages. We’ve seen your license plate. We’ve sent you e-mail. WE KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT!)
6- Photographic Evidence Of Matching Outfits. (2 exceptions to this. The first is if the outfits in question were gifts from a child under the age of 10. The other is if the outfits in question were gifts from a relative over the age of 45. Anyone else in between should just f**king know better. Furthermore, if you’re wearing matching outfits, your friends are lauhging. Maybe not obviously, but you’re being soundly mocked. Yes, that sounds a bit mean, but come on! Matching outfits? Unless you’re performing a dance at The Max in front of Casey Kasem, you made a poor decision. Oh, and if any of the matching clothing/accessories is at all Disney related, this rating jumps to a 12, and we can openly snicker at your get-up.)
6.5- “I used to hate _____, but now I’m getting into it!”/”Oh man, I’m all about ___!”. (You f’n liar. You HATED ___, used to rant and rave about how terrible it was, but now you love it? Look, I’ve done some goofy stuff for the opposite sex up to and including eating leaves in first grade, but I will never…AND THE ROCK MEANS NEVER pretend to like something I hate because it might score me points with someone I’m already in good with. The other thing is pretending to be completely and totally enamored with a band, tv show, or movie franchise when you didn’t care one lick about it before your significant other came alone and, coincidence of all coincidences, happened to ALSO be enamored with said band, tv show, or movie franchise. Okay, I’m gonna make another vomiting joke and I think I’ve maxed out regurgitation already. Let’s just move on.)
7- “We’re Teaming Up!”. (Okay, let’s go over this, shall we? You’re around a bunch of friends. There’s some kind of competition, be it beerpong, board games, Field Day, chug paddle relay, and out of everyone there, you’re picking…your boyfriend/girlfriend? Now, call me cynical, but isn’t that a surefire way to get into an argument? Guaranteed that one coupler is more competitive than the other, and will at some point in the evening lament that, had they a different partner, they might’ve one. This will lead to the other coupler getting hurt and defensive, and will lead Rey to resume sniffing glue.)
8- Your Shared Pet Is A Dog/Cat, Not A Child. (I love my dog F.R.E.D.–probably more than I love some actual human beings I know. Still, unless he’s physically ill and unable to fend for himself while I’m gone, you will never…ever…ever…ever hear me say, “Sorry, I gotta watch the dog. He doesn’t like being alone.”. No, you know what your pet doesn’t like? He/She doesn’t like you blinding him/her with 245 blasts of your camera’s flash. Stop taking pictures of the dog! Enough with the pictures of you and the dog! Enough of the pictures with your significant other and the dog! Enough with the pictures of you, your significant other, and the dog! No mas! This one gets multiplied by 73 if the pictures look like they were taken at a photo studio.)
8.5- The We/Us Sickness. (“We think ___”, “We’ll ____”, “When it comes to us ____”, “As for us, ____”. Oh. Emm. Gee. Frank, Sarah… I’m happy that you’ve managed to meld into one sentient being, but…okay, no, I’m not happy. You sound like an alien. Quit it.)
8.75- The Happy Couple Lecture Tour. (You ever have a couple try to give you advice about single life or relationships? You ever realize how much the talks sound eerily similar to the lectures parents from late 80’s/early 90’s sitcoms gave every week? You will now.)
9- “Sorry we’re late…again!”. (Now, admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve been in a relationship, but I’m pretty sure I had functioning clocks while my name was attached to a girl’s name by an “N” or a “<3”. Maybe that’s changed, because “Couple Time” is worse than “Yahoo Time” and “C.P. Time”. Next Christmas I’m getting all my relationship’d friends watches, hourglasses, and sundials.)
9.5- The Awkward Witnessing Of A Pointless Argument. (I’m not talking the crazy “serious dent in the relationship” arguments that can happen sometimes, I’m talking about the uncomfortable arguments or mini-arguments we have to pretend aren’t happening. Or hilarious. Seriously! It goes with number 7! The “you’re so competitive, it drives me crazy!” argument is too funny. It’s not important in the slightest, but someone catches hurt feelings, and I catch a case of the giggles. Still, like most of the stuff on the list, us outsiders are supposed to pretend it isn’t happening. Couplers, just so you know, the mini-arguments over nothing will also be soundly mocked–half because it’s funny, and half because we’re bound by unwritten rules to not say “Hey, relax, It Ain’t That Serious!”. Oh, warning! These kinds of arguments can lead to “I Can’t Believe You Just Said That” moments, which as I’ve said before are always the death of fun for the dude in the relationship. Like a girlfriend-induced timeout where she can have fun but you have to have the “I just peed on the carpet and I know you’re mad at me” face on for the rest of the nite.)
9.75- Jackasses Ordering Transmitters For Their Girlfriend As A Surprise Only To Cancel At The Last Second Because They’re Obviously Morons. (That’s a workstory that had to be brought up. Moving on!)
10- The Keri’n’Mario Memorial Insult Festival. (My brother dated this girl for almost 4 years, and she always had this annoying habit of bringing up cringeworthy stories of their intimate life in front of us. My brother would play the part and just sorta shrug it off. This would drive me f’n crazy. I mean, picking on one’s significant other is okay for the most part, but not all the time, and definitely not about in-the-bedroom stuff, and definitely DEFINITELY not in front of his friends. There’s a difference between cracking a joke that we can get some playful mileage out of, and dropping a bomb that just makes everyone look around the room until someone changes the subject or farts or something. It always reminded me of those sitcoms where the wife, kids, and dog are all smarter than the husband on the show, and she insults him left and right. Since this one wasn’t that funny, I’d like to point out that, for a change, my nipples are NOT hard. You’re welcome.)
Call Reynolds, Cuz It’s A Wrap.
Alright kids, that’s it for tonite. I hope you enjoyed the list. I’m sure there are other things that can make this list, but I thought this would be a good jumping off point. Oh, and to the couples I know that might read this–if the shoe fits, wear it, but also know that while this is a work of truthful observation, it’s also another healthy way of me venting my singleness. AKA Don’t gimme shit for this!
As always, comments, questions, critiques, and additions to the list can be left below in the Dr. Donda West-Christopher Wallace Memorial Comments Section.
Thanks for tuning in,