TLC

Know who(m) I hate?
OK, so I know that’s a “loaded question”, and I know that the question should really be, “Know who(m) I don’t hate?” and I know that the list of people I despise (a/k/a hate) is as long as my arm and yours and yours and yours all put together …
But anyway …
I hate the TLC. Not the “girl group” that uses those initials (although I remember not being crazy about them either, when, involuntarily, I heard them sing once). No, what I mean is the Tender Loving Couple. The couple who insists on inflicting their “romance” on the rest of us, no matter where they are. Urine-reeky subway platform? Let’s caress each other’s flushed cheeks with our fingertips. Doorway alcove on 14th Street, where someone vomited last night after a particularly intelligent night out? Let’s stand face to face in our special love cocoon as we wait out the rain and explore the depths of each other’s eyes as each of us massages the other’s gently undulating ass.
Fancy restaurants, silken sheets, and beautiful parks? Sure, they’re all nice ‘n’ stuff, but when you’re part of a TLC, it doesn’t matter where you are or what you do. ‘Cause anywhere the two of you are together is your own special love lair!
TLCs are particularly fond of displaying their sweet brand of love (it goes beyond mere affection!) on public transportation, but especially the subway, where the other passengers are captive to their romantic gestures. Just the other day, a couple came into the car that I occupied and brought with them their need to share their private love with the public.
Sometimes the TLCs aren’t quite old enough to know better (then why the hell are they in tender loving relationships already anyway?), but this couple definitely was. They were each at least 30 years old. But their behavior was more in line with the sort that is often exhibited by couples whose combined age is about 30. And so was their manner of dress. Each was dressed in a crazy mixed-up look-at-me-I’m-so-colorful-and-different getup. They kept looking around the car as if to make sure that we all noticed the presence of the Kwintessential Kooky Kouple.
At first I thought they were deaf because they seemed to be signing, but as I watched them more closely from behind the ironed curtain of my hair, and witnessed their fingers mingling like worms released from a can, I saw that they were just engaging in a special sort of lovers’ pattycake. And it was clear that they weren’t deaf because they kept whispering the sweetest of nothings in each other’s tender shell-like ears and giggling. For a moment I thought perhaps they were mimes, and I would have to increase my disgust accordingly.
But perhaps the most revolting component of their display was this: They rubbed noses. Like a pair of colorful urban eskimos. They smiled close-lipped smiles so fierce that their cheeks’ flesh forced their eyes into RenĂ©e Zelwegger slits, and, with their blissful, shiny faces turned to one another, ever so gently rubbed their red noses (drunk? or merely cold?) together. Back and forth. Side to side. Up and down. Many, many times.
I despised them so much that I couldn’t stand to watch them out of the corner of my eye anymore, so I spied on them in reverse, courtesy of the reflection in the window to my right. I had to look. It was like watching a train wreck. Or, actually, like being in one.