Last week, Noah and I walked to the coffee shop for some hot cocoa. We do it at least twice a month. We picked a table and waited for them to bring us our chocolaty goodness.

At the table next to us was a young couple. They couldn’t have been older than early twenties. The girl was all bundled up. Hat, scarf, thick coat, gloves. She was leaned-in close to him with an angry look on her face. The guy had draped his stay-warms across the table and was also leaning in. I couldn’t see her hand, but he was sporting a gold band signifying that they were married. They both took turns looking down and then looking at each other (though never at the same time). Neither of them were happy about whatever it was they were talking about.

After a few minutes our cocoa arrived and we began sipping it as we slipped further and further into sugary bliss.

I could sense the conversation happening next to us getting more heated. Eventually instead of just muddled whispers, the occasional phrase was said a little just a little too loud. I wasn’t trying to listen in, but it was hard not to.

Mumble mumble mumble mumble “yes I would!”

Mumble mumble mumble mumble “it was not that bad!”

Mumble mumble mumble mumble “we both got so tired of all the crap last time.”

Mumble mumble mumble mumble “you say that now!”

Mumble mumble mumble mumble “and what happens when you start spending more time with him than with me?”

Mumble mumble mumble mumble “and what about when your mom stays over?”

Mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble.

I thought we were hearing the side scraps of some epic drama that involved intrigue, jealousy, lover’s scorn, insecurity, and who knows what else. I always loved me a good real life soap opera, and I may have started eavesdropping more than I should have. Noah was content coloring.

Then out of nowhere, the guy started furiously putting on his coat and gloves and much too loudly said, “fine, you can get the stupid dog. Let’s go.”

It took everything I had not to bust out laughing.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. This blog post has also been recorded as a podcast. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

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Dan Pearce is an American born writer, photographer, and artist. His books include "The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man" and "The Real Dad Rules." He is best known for his blog (and supporting Facebook page) "Single Dad Laughing," with 2 million followers as of 2018.