Dear Young Couple

teenage love

Dear Young Couple,

I don’t personally know you, but I spent 45 minutes observing you last week.

Wait. I’m not some stalking psycho. Before you reach for a can of pepper spray or notify the authorities, please allow me to explain.

You were standing in line at a tourist attraction and my family was behind you. Do you remember those beautiful blue-eyed children who whined about the wait and took turns begging to climb onto that poor man’s shoulders while his wife said the words, “don’t” and “stop” 375 times?

Yes, that was us.

I first noticed your high heels, young lady. As I admired them, I was reminded of the days when I could tour a museum or wait in a line for hours in stylish pumps. I glanced down at my New Balance tennis shoes secretly lined with Dr. Scholl’s arch supports.

Your young beau wore a hoodie donning that complicated word that I always wrongly pronounce as “arrow apostle”. He violently twitched his neck to remove the shaggy bangs from his eyes and although he shifted from one neon-colored tennis shoe to the other, his young, smooth baby-like hands remained steady on your tiny, tight, 20-year-old waist which I assume has yet to be riddled with stretch marks that resemble wilted grapes. As he pulled you closer to him, I pulled my sweatshirt down so that it would successfully conceal my muffin top.

He whispered something into your ear attached to a large peacock feather earring- probably one of your many exciting inside jokes- and you laughed and buried your head into his chest.

Last week, that waiting line was a very different place for us than it was for you.

We didn’t hold hands. We held maps, tickets, diaper bags and children. My shoulder was my only body part that touched my husband, and that was solely because I needed to lean my exhausted body against his. We didn’t tell inside jokes because they have become as stale as the half-eaten toast our kids leave on the kitchen table. I made a mental note to schedule the kid’s hair appointments after school on Thursday. We moved ahead half an inch and I snapped my fingers and put on the stern mommy face that silently alerts our son to “get back over here right now”. I sent myself a text reminding me to mail the electric bill when we got home, I instructed our daughter to straighten her bored, slouching shoulders and I dryly mentioned her upcoming orthodontist appointment to my better half. I read all of the signage on the walls, shifted my hefty purse from one aching shoulder to the other and focused again on you.

He placed his hand on the small of your back and kissed you again. You pulled away and smiled at him the way goofy girls always smile at goofy boys whom they hope will stick around. Young girl, you probably look at that kid and see the white picket fence, the future children with his dimples and your auburn hair, the family vacations, the orthodontist and haircut appointments.

But do you see the reality of it all?

Did you see us?

Don’t get me wrong; our love is definitely still alive, stronger now than when we were your age. Our love has been reinforced by the birth of children and pretending to be Santa and cleaning baby poop from the carpet and prayer and fifteen years of life together, but the butterflies just don’t flutter like they used to. We don’t enthusiastically wheel the luggage to the cabin or view waiting lines as romantic.

We are the old couple.

We are your future.

Dear young girl, I don’t know if you’ll marry the boy with the neck twitch and the arrow apostle hoodie. Dear young boy, I don’t know if your neon sneakers will forever rest next to her pumps. I don’t know if your love will produce children. But I do know that you should hold onto these youthful moments. Hold onto what you had in that waiting line. Hold onto the jokes, the laughs, the unapologetic PDA.

Hold onto one another.


My Feet Still Hurt

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About Susannah

I'm a freelance writer, blogger, aspiring best-selling author, wife of one and stay-at-home mother of two. I was chosen for the Top 13 in Blogger Idol and contribute pieces to The Huffington Post and Hahas for Hoohas. My work has also been featured in several humorous e-books, "Southern Writers’ Magazine", "The Humor Daily", "The Funny Times" and on the Erma Bombeck website. When I'm not putting pen to paper, bandaging boo-boos or spraying Shout on unidentifiable stains, I enjoy reading, playing the piano and teaching my children all about Southern charm. God has blessed me beyond measure and to Him be the glory forever.

10 thoughts on “Dear Young Couple

  • Heather

    Sigh. I thought I was the only one that felt this way. This rings so true for me and I am glad to know I am not alone.

  • Meg Hammil

    Oh I love this. Funny I was at an amusement park with my daughter a few weeks ago and had many same thoughts while looking at the cute young things only a few years older than her.

  • Chris Carter (@themomcafe)

    Ah YES!!! I love this- as I always love everything you write!! You said it perfectly!!! I remember passing young loves sitting on a bench in the park, as I walked Cade in a stroller and Cassidy ran ahead and fell down HARD on the cemented pavement path- scraping her knees. My three year old bursted into hysterics with bloody knees, which woke up sleeping baby Cade and I had to stop at the next bench a few feet down to deal with the madness of BOTH kids screaming bloody hell. As I held both of my babies- with my hair in a scrunchie and my pj bottoms still on-black circles under my eyes…

    I looked back at the couple, who stared wide eyed and startled… and I smiled back at them- and nodded with the nonverbal but glaringly clear message of

    “This is your future.”

    And uh, WAIT! It ISN’T arrow apostle? Crap.

  • Brooke

    This was beautiful and made me feel nostalgic. It makes me hapoy to see young couples like this and I always wonder what will happen to them. When I see couples like this it always makes me smile and makes my day a bit brighter.

  • Denice

    I’ve seen ’em and I notice ’em…I love those young couples…but you know what, I so vividly remember those days, that when I see those young ‘uns, I immediately take my hubby of 24 years by the hand. I do my very best to keep that goofy, bubbly feeling alive. When we’re the most tired of feeling like tired old parents, I want him (and me) to remember that although we really ARE tired old parents, we’re still young enough to be in love with each other. Someday soon we’ll be the even older gray-haired couple sitting at the restaurant. I so hope we’re still looking at each other with love in our eyes…and that couples in their 30s and 40s look at us with longing – hoping to still love each other as much as we do in our 60s.

  • realsstates

    My dad used to say it was so sad that youth was wasted on the young. He said the world had it backwards, that you needed to be retired when the kids were young so you could have more money and time when they were little and then work and have less when you’re older. I agree. I don’t want or need as much now that I’m older. We spent our youth acquiring things, you spend your older years trying to simplify & give it away, for a tenth of the value and still, no one wants it. So, our basement is full of the stuff we saved, for when the kids need it. They don’t want it.

    When my husband & I first began going to our church, we were the “YOUNG” couple with the very small kids 7, 3, & 18 months at the time. Those kids are now 30, 26 & 25 and I have NO IDEA how that happened….until I look in the mirror and see my mother! But, my husband and I are still very much in love & have even learned to treasure the comfort of old love…there’s no pretense as you so reminded us, after cleaning poop off of carpet and the other practicalities of life, but there is the satisfaction of the ‘sticktuitiveness’ and memories treasured together. Why are we humans never satisfied with what ever stage of life we’re in???

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