Public Displays of Disaffection

I don’t understand why some couples– or any coupling– find it necessary to fight in public. Most times, it’s as if they’d tuned out the rest of the world, and don’t realize that other people can hear everything they’re saying to/yelling at each other.

The worst kinds are those that do it in public transportation vehicles like buses and commuter trains. I once witnessed what I assumed to be husband-and-wife, verbally accosting each other. When the husband walked away from his wife, the wife proceeded to follow him, yelling at him the entire time, while hapless fellow passengers did their best to ignore them. In that particular instance, another passenger– a female toting a young girl– implored the woman to lower her voice, and the woman temporarily turned her anger on the female, telling her to ‘shut’ her ‘trap,’ and that this was between her and her husband. The problem was, it stopped being between just the two of them when they decided to make their quarrel public.

What are these people trying to prove? Is it a ‘power play’ sort of thing, see who yells the loudest? Are they trying to rally support from the people around them– whether consciously or subconsciously?

I swear, sometimes I just want to walk up to these people and do the Vulcan grip on them. Sadly, I don’t know how to do the Vulcan grip, and must quietly seethe instead.

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3 Responses to “Public Displays of Disaffection”


  1. 1 jwdoom August 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    In my experience, people from, shall we say, lower on the socioeconomic scale have no compunction about airing their dirty laundry in public. A while ago I was having breakfast with a, um, friend, and a friend of hers somewhere off MLK in NE. Foolishly she decided that a sidewalk table would be a good idea and we all got to witness a couple fight over their daughter in a manner that was one step removed from a tug of war. The two chicks were appalled, but I’d seen it before. I merely questioned the wisdom of sidewalk tables in parts of town where lowlifes congregate.

    It’s unfortunate that the law doesn’t allow for direct intervention on this sort of behavior.

  2. 2 Danielle August 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    This is as bad, or worse, than regular PDA.

  3. 3 damyantig September 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    I hate it when people fight in public. Thankfully very few people in Malaysia do it.


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