The young couple brutally remind Miss Brill of her loneliness and lack of companionship at the worst possible moment. Up until this point, Miss Brill had been living in a kind of fantasy about her place in the community. She speaks with no one and keeps to herself, indulging on sweets and dressing in a way that makes her feel good, with her little fur.
She imagines that the whole town is part of a play-acting company and that she is a part of this company. It makes her feel a connected-ness that gives her peace and joy. While listening to a band, Miss Brill thinks about this more fully:
The tune lifted, lifted, the light shone; and it seemed to Miss Brill that in another moment all of them, all the whole company, would begin singing. The young ones, the laughing ones who were moving together, they would begin, and the men's voices, very resolute and brave, would join them. And then she too, she too, and the others on the benches—they would come in with a kind of accompaniment—something low, that scarcely rose or fell, something so beautiful—moving . . . And Miss Brill's eyes filled with tears and she looked smiling at all the other members of the company. Yes, we understand, we understand, she thought—though what they understood she didn't know.
However, the young lovers spoil everything. Sitting near Miss Brill, they complain about her aloud, her presence making the young woman unwilling to make out with her boyfriend, the boyfriend loudly complaining she's a nuisance. They even mock her clothes, particularly the little fur.
This shatters Miss Brill's sense of belonging and her pride in her dress. She goes home and takes off the fur, without even looking at it weeping to herself. In this moment, she realizes just how alone she really is.