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    Public Display of Affection

    Holding hands, a woman and man walk into a park.  They sit down on a bench, look longingly into each other’s eyes, and then share a slow, passionate kiss.  A long period of time passes, but they don’t seem to notice. They probably just don’t care. As long as they’re together on that bench, they can sit there all day. They remain on the bench repeating the deep stare and passionate kiss over and over again.

    Some people watching feel envious; they yearn for a partner. Others feel angry that their spouses don’t show them that kind of affection. Then you’ve got those who think it’s the sweetest thing they’ve ever laid their eyes on.

    I- on the other hand- feel sick to my stomach.

    Public Display of Affection. There’s nothing sweet about it.  And for some reason- especially lately- I can’t escape it. It’s everywhere. It’s on the streets. You’re going to get hit by a car. In the parks. Even my dog turns away. The Movie Theaters. Oh, forget it.

    But recently, on a Fairway Supermarket escalator, it was so bad that it actually threatened my safety. Holding bags of heavy groceries- wedged in between two (yes, two!) couples who were publicly displaying their affection- I couldn’t take it anymore.  When my fiancée and I go to the Fairway together, we bond over the variety of cereals, high five over the low-fat muffin display and rejoice over the price of their rotisserie chickens.  Clearly, these lowlifes aren’t fulfilled by their grocery runs.

    Struggling to balance bags of heavy groceries while passing the couple in front of me, I practically couldn’t move. Cursing myself for buying the gallon of milk on this grocery trip, I wiggled and squirmed until the next thing I knew, apples and onions were rolling down the escalator and I came real close to tumbling down after them.

    I was infuriated. These imbeciles could have cost me my life. They definitely cost me seven dollars worth of apples and onions. And- to think- I was debating eating tomorrow’s cereal sans milk?!  Talk about scumbags.

    Now don’t get me wrong. I love my fiancée with everything I got and I’m not afraid to display it publicly. But there are ways to show your affection – in public- with out offending society.  Picking up coffee for him almost every morning is definitely one of them. Walking his dog Hank for miles and miles is one of my favorites. And picking up his dog’s droppings… I mean, nothing says “I love you Brandon” more than that.

    I will admit- I tend to be a bit more conservative than others. It sounds crazy but sometimes, I’m hesitant to engage in hand-holding, depending whose company were in. It comes from a good place, I swear. I just would never want to make anyone feel uncomfortable in my company. And sometimes, my best judgment tells me that holding my fiancée’s hand will make our company uncomfortable. Usually my judgment is pretty good, so I just need to trust it for this one. If we’re walking with his parents or mine, my hand just isn’t going to naturally cup his. I don’t know why this is, but I’d rather play it safe than risk someone upchucking. I’d feel pretty bad if that happened. Hand-holding just aint worth it. Especially because knowing me, I’d be the sucker holding their hair back.

    I’m nervous for the wedding ceremony.  I can easily and naturally publicly display my affection by telling an audience of 200 people how much I love my fiancée and why. No problem. Piece of cake! Words may be powerful- but totally kosher in my book. But the kiss… in front of all those people… I’m pretty uneasy about that. My fiancée jokes that I probably would prefer to shake his hand and to be honest, that’s not such a bad idea.

    My friend Emily is real practical. She’s got a good head on her shoulders. I trust her advice. Recently, she watched us take our engagement photos in Central Park. After watching me awkwardly respond to the photographer’s “Ok! Now kiss!,” she informed me that I gotta get over it. And don’t think I don’t know that this is my entire fault. My fiancée… he knows what’s appropriate. He won’t cost someone their onions and apples on a supermarket escalator, but he has no qualms kissing under a chuppah when a rabbi instructs us to. It’s my issue. I would feel so bad if someone threw up… and at our wedding? What a mess!

    And what about Public Display of Affection flaunted through social media mediums- now that really hits a nerve for me! But it’s not a social media kiss that bothers me. I actually happen to love a photo that captures the moment.  Kissing photos… totally kosher. It’s the hastagging that offends me.

    Hashtagging your love to your entire social network throughout the day and including terms of endearment such as Baby, Sweetie, and Honey…. Take it offline.

    #iloveyoumorethananything #lovemybaby #luckiestgirlintheworld #couldn’tloveyoumoresweetie #lovelovelove

    We’re all barfing.  Used correctly though, the hashtag isn’t always so bad.  Perhaps I should post a photo of myself picking up Hank’s droppings and caption it with a #Ilovemyfiancee. Now that’s romance, folks.

    A few nights ago, an elderly couple slowly crossed the street. They caught my eye, because they were struggling to cross together. When looking closely, I realized it was because the man was juggling holding his wife so she didn’t fall while carrying her handbag and carrying a bag of groceries. That to me was the most romantic public display of affection I’ve seen in a long time. And I kept watching. I couldn’t get enough of it.  Let’s see more of that, people!

    Yesterday, I took Hank with me to pick up coffee for my fiancée and I- a usual Sunday morning routine. On our way to the coffee truck, we stopped at Hank’s tree so he could go to the bathroom. As I bent down to pick it up, I noticed a woman in a fur coat glaring at me in utter disgust.

    Walking back home with the coffees for my beloved fiancée and I, I didn’t let her glare get to me.  After all, She’s just like me. She doesn’t like Public Display of Affection either.

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