Joong-joong: A couple's tendency to break into an tangential conversation, indifferent to the context or situation, which can last from a couple of seconds to an intense minute. It is a onomatopoeic word inspired from clanking of two giant metal plates. As the mind wanders to escape a couple's twitter, this is the visual that often fills one's thoughts.
Currently the word does not have a present continuous form like 'joong-joonging'. But we are working on it.
Couples joong-joong all the time. They joong-joong when they are out for dinner with friends. They joong-joong about dinner. They joong-joong about ordering dinner. You get the drift... The details couples dwelve into while doing joong-joong are quite often irrelevant to the others. But for some reason the couple will find it imperative to resolve it right then. This behaviour has amused me for a while now. Here is my theory on the Top 3 reasons for it. Couples reading this can help me with the other causes. Other readers can empathize.
Couples feel that they should have one unified version of any shared experience
'And then we had to wait for a long time for the taxi.'
'No it didn't take that long!'
'Cmon, it was almost 20 minutes.'
'Nooo... Maximum 15 minutes.'
A typical joong-joong example. In this case the broader incident could have been a party they attended, or them sharing details of an elaborate trip. Couples conveniently lose track of the main topic. Normal single people, or 'cool' couples will be happy to have their own version of an experience in a group. But couples publicly chisel each other's opinion till they both have identical thoughts.
Couple feel taking light-hearted jabs at each other brings wholesome entertainment to others
(This is also linked to an independent problem of humour disconnect. What couples jointly feel is funny is usually quite dull to others.)
When couples make fun of each other, it's hard to guess whether they are loving it or it's rooted in layers of discontent. As a simple rule I never interfere in such matters. You never know what your statement can spark.
'Can you please increase the AirCon temperature? I am feeling cold.'
'You know she can't even stand 25'C? What kind of a Delhite are you Pooja?'
'Oh ya? You know he claims he likes cold and then he will carry a jacket to the theatres.'
'Well that helps me to sleep. She takes me along to such bad movies!'
'Whose idea was it to see A Christmas Carol ?? You know he actually liked it?'
'What about you Arvind, did you like it or not?'
'Amm...I think I may not have seen the movie. I am not sure....'
Couples feel that food preferences, behaviour patterns and other irrelevant foibles are matters to be discussed in the open
Normal people make definitive statements about themselves "You know I love Tandoori Chicken". Couples happily make statements about the other person, which quickly degenerates into a drab exchange, or joong-joong.
'You know she really hates chicken.'
'When did I say that? Of course I love chicken.'
'We were at Loy Kee yesterday, and you said that you hated the chicken.'
'Yes. But that chicken was really bad. And the waiter was so rude...'
'You are also quite rude with waiters...'
'No I am not...'
'You know he really loves chicken.'
'Yes you get the best chicken at Loy Kee.'
'No. It's not the best....'
'Of course after eating it he burps for at least 2-3 hours.'
As much as you like your couple friends, you can't really tell them that you have the least interest in his/her poultry gas situation.
This joong-joong stage in a couple's life lasts for a while. Some couples successfully proceed to stage2 and get married. They then dutifully move to stage 3 - Kids. After stage 3, joong-joong is no longer the main problem. Instead of bearing with boring exchanges between the parents, now their friends have to put up with monologues about their lovely kids.
'Pinky really likes Strawberry Milk. I say Pinky do you want milky-milk? And she says 'No mommy, I like Stobery Milk...'
That's when you need to look for new friends.
Beware of joong-joong.
p.s - When a sample couple read this article, they joong-joonged for while on whether the article was humorous. They settled on the phrase 'kind of funny' and resumed normal conversation. Case in point.