Cupid certainly has his work cut out for him these days. I’m sure he was managing reasonably well, but now he’s got bigger problems. And it’s starting to get some of us down.
The recession has been cited as a source of dismay for hopeful hearts across America and here in Australia there’s another antagonist working steadily to thwart friendly flirtation and potential passion – the humble headphone. They come in all shapes and sizes and some are easier to identify than others. All of them are daunting, but it’s the small and subtle ones that are the worst.
They may look and sound great, but they're destroying your love life...
Do people who constantly wear headphones not want to find love? Are they already loved and therefore have no interest in the clumsy attempts at introductory conversation from an absolute stranger? Have they had so many people trying to pick them up that it’s easier to pretend they’re listening to their mp3s? Are they really just faking as part of an elaborate ruse designed to weed the treasures from the timewasters, with the timid claimed as collateral damage? Is their music really good enough to pass up the possibility of meeting someone who might bring a whole new dimension to their life?
Naturally, the difficulty posed by headphones is relative to the courage of the person doing the approaching. Determination plays a big part in overcoming obstacles to love, but depending on your history or personality, they might simply be too much.
I commute to work via train because of the benefits to both my wallet and the environment. A couple of days ago, as I stood amongst the other men and women heading to the city I noticed that a great many of them had plugged themselves in. I have no issue with it specifically; but I did notice two people sitting next to each other who were each wearing a distinct set of headphones. One wire was black and the other was white and I found this quite intriguing.
Immediately I started to wonder – Could these two people be a couple? It was difficult to believe that chance had put this guy and girl right next to each other on the train, sharing a seat AND very specific taste in audiophonics. I mean really, as much as I’d love to say it was fate, that sort of thing only happens in the movies doesn’t it? A part of me REALLY wanted to believe that it was fate, because then I’d have something to bolster my own flagging enthusiasm.
My glances wandered back to them from time to time as the train lumbered towards my working day and again I was left thinking. If they are a couple – why aren’t they talking to each other? There’s no obvious sign of affection there, they aren’t even holding hands or anything. If that was me and my girl, I’d be holding her hand and talking to her about whatever. They’re not even looking at each other; not even every now and then. They can’t be a couple, this is a very strange headphone coincidence indeed!
Maybe they recorded a conversation last night and are listening to each other talk right now. It’s odd, yes, but you never know. Although I must say that there’s no smiling from either of them, so they probably haven’t recorded anything for each other. If I’d recorded myself talking so that my girlfriend could listen to it while I sat silently next to her on the train, I’d definitely try to throw in something amusing from time to time. Maybe they made mix tapes for each other. That’s a good idea, but surely they’d look into each other’s eyes every so often, and smile and touch or something!
A couple of stops later my curiosity was satisfied. The guy stood to leave, then turned and leant down to kiss his girl and say goodbye before stepping off the train.
So there it is. Not only are headphones making it hard for people to meet each other; they’re driving a wedge between perfectly loving couples.
I’m all for headphones by the way but if you want to improve your chances, help Cupid help you. Consider the possibility that someone special might be working up the courage to talk to you before you hide yourself away in your music. Of course, if you’re not interested or are already lucky enough to have someone – rock on.