I first noticed the bane of my existence, Franny and Milhouse (names invented since I don’t actually know their real names) about a year ago when I moved to the damn suburbs and had to start taking the train into work. The express train I take is about 35 minutes to downtown. The first time I saw them, they had walked up to the front of the car near the doors of the train about 15 minutes before we got into the station. Franny had a worried, sad expression just like Droopy Dog. Her husband was by her side with a look of concern and deep, deep, deep, deep enduring love on his face as they stood there, holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes. On a train. At 7:15 in the morning. And as they stood there staring at each other, at times he would softly kiss her forehead and sometimes they would hug, and then they would always go back to looking into each other’s eyes and always with the same expressions — she looking forlorn and somewhat constipated and him staring at her like she is an orphan about to die of starvation. All this, standing there in the middle of the aisle on the damn train in front of about 50 people.
So the first time I see this, I think “God! Was she just diagnosed with terminal cancer or something?” These two are fucking intense. I wonder if it bothers them at all to stand in front of all of the sleepy, seated commuters on a train for 15 minutes and make slow, sad love to one another with their eyes? But maybe something absolutely horrible has happened to them and they don’t even care because they are so traumatized. It’s kind of embarrassing for them, and me, but I’ll let it go. I hope she gets cured. I hope they stay together. They are so obviously in love.
And then the next day came and there they were again doing all the same shit. And then the next day, and the next. And after a few days of this, I’ve had enough. It was all I could do not to stand up and scream “Get a fucking room you silly stupid ass wipes! What the hell is the matter with you?”
Nobody could convince me that Franny has ever smiled with her eyes in her entire lifetime. Ever. Franny must be the most depressed, victimized, Eeyore-like person in the universe. She better have a fucking crazy tough life carrying around that constant pained expression and sucking any positive energy out of the entire train car, leaving a vacuum of desolation and depression. I think that Milhouse is under the impression that only his dutiful hugs and kisses keep her from committing suicide every morning and I find myself praying that one day he would stop and let her get it over with so I could enjoy one single fucking day on the train.
If I had to spend more than 4 minutes with Franny I would probably eviscerate myself with a fork just to get out of her path of misery. There were times when I felt bad for Milhouse because he has to tend to the needs of the most high maintenance, soul sucking individual on the planet. But then it dawned on me that he doesn’t have to. He LOVES this. This drama played out every morning. He is addicted to this woman’s dysfunction. I mean, he is as jacked as she is if he has the stomach to be replaying this scene over and over every. single. fucking day in front of an entire train car of people who want them both dead. (I haven’t taken a poll, but how could my fellow commuters not be as infuriated by this shit as I am?)
So I switched train cars to get away from them. Their shenanigans made me feel homicidal thoughts for the first time in my life and I was worried for their safety. I started day dreaming about punching her in face until I couldn’t see it any more and I’ve never had thoughts like that in my life. I was scared and surprised about my own visceral reaction to these two. I mean, why do I hate them so thoroughly with my whole being? What about them loving each other sick is so abhorrent to me?
Well, I had to make this stop, so I switched train cars to avoid them. And that worked! For a day. But on the second day in my new car where I could feel calm, peace and love? Oh shit. Franny and fucking Milhouse apparently decide to move a car up, like they are stalking me, and once again in front of an entire train and hold each other and kiss each other and look intensely at one another in the eyes. Sometimes she would whisper something and then his concern would grow and he’d rub her back and brush the hair from her forehead. Or he would cup both of his hands around her little face and whisper something back. I’ve never heard a single word of what these two are saying, but I imagine in a Mystery Science Theater sort of way that she’s like, “My little toe hurts again. I’m not sure if I can make it.” and then he says, “Darling, if I could take your pain away I would. But instead I’ll just treat you like a sick infant, and I’ll be concerned for your life 100% of this train ride. I love you, Schmoopie.” and then she looks down sadly because Milhouse should have said something else like, “Darling, I will get down on my hands and knees and suck on your little toe if that will make it feel better.” But he didn’t, and so she must mope some more, all alone in this world and so very sad that her husband isn’t taking her pain away.
So now what? I could not shake these two, but I finally felt grateful I had gotten myself knocked up with kid #3 and finally I could go on maternity leave and Franny and Milhouse and all of their infinite problems they are solving with their intense, infinite love on the train each morning would disappear. After a week or two, their specter no longer haunted me and truthfully, I forgot all about them. I was sort of busy.
Seven weeks later, I go back to work and I have to drop my baby girl off at daycare and I’m a mess and as I’m walking to the train station, some guy runs past me like he is trying to beat the world record in the 100 meters. And lo and behold – I recognize him. It is fucking Milhouse. Seriously, God? Today? These two? Fuck me.
So where the hell is Franny? I thought she and Milhouse were Siamese married people. How does he expect her to survive without having his face within 6 inches of hers? “Maybe they divorced!? Maybe she is finally dead!” I thought hopefully. Well, that would not explain why he was running so fast with his messenger bag flopping all over the place. He must have dropped our Franny off at the station and went to park the car and though the train wouldn’t be arriving for another 12 minutes, he was running like it was leaving the station.
Yup. Franny was standing there waiting for him with an expression on her face as if he accidentally poured cyanide instead salt into the soup and she was really serious today about jumping in front of the train because of his inadequacy. Very disappointed in him. He didn’t run fast enough I guess. Or perhaps he had screwed up everything already that morning, putting her in a fragile state that only staring into his pleading eyes would ever remedy. UGH. Kill me now.
But then they did something I could not believe! They separated for a few minutes! Each lined up on the platform so that they were each on one side of the throng of people waiting so they could hedge their bets so when the train pulled in one of them would be close to the door and could snag a seat where they could sit together. So clever. I think they were probably texting the whole time just to ensure that Franny was okay as she stood waiting for the train 12 feet and 12 bodies away from her husband.
I realized then I had only seen them in that last half of the ride but apparently, they have to sit together on the train (of course) and if they can’t find a suitable seat where they can sit together, she sits down next to a random stranger and he stands there in the aisle, holding her hand, rather than finding another seat himself. I mean AREYOUFUCKINGKIDDINGME?! These two have no shame. That guy has no balls. It makes my stomach turn.
So now you know about Milhouse and Franny. I’m sorry to tell you that there is no happy ending to this story. They still ride the train with me every morning. I have switched cars to be even farther away from them, so my mornings have been filled with peace, optimism and calm for the most part because they haven’t found me yet.
But, the story has taken a sad twist. Franny appears to be pregnant. I pray for that unborn child everyday. I cannot imagine the hell on earth that awaits that child when she meets her mother. I don’t think there is any way in hell that this is going to turn out well for that kid, because her mother’s needs are so vast, I’m sure the baby’s need for food and nurturing and love pale in comparison. And watch out Milhouse! You spend more than 3 minutes with that child and enjoy it, Franny will have your ass on a platter. You will wish you were never born.
But the good news for me is that this baby might just mean that Franny and Milhouse will no longer ride the train together because she will be institutionalized and he’ll have to stay home with the baby and I can finally get on with being my loving, kind self again. I love happy endings.