He was older. So was she. Not elderly. Rather, simply past middle age.
His gray hair fell in soft waves around his collar. Her auburn hair looked almost natural, both in its color and curls. He was tall. So was she. But she was also wearing three-inch patent leather high heels that matched her dress. They walked in holding hands.
“Table for two, no reservations,” he smiled at the maitre d’. She smiled only at him.
“But we’ll have drinks first at your bar,” he smiled again. “That okay?” She never took her eyes off of him, even as he continued to talk to the maitre d’.
“Certainly, sir,” said the maitre d’. “Let us know when you’d like to be seated at your table.”
The guest led his bride to the bar, where they found two seats next to each other and figured out a way to cuddle as they perched. They ordered drinks. He kissed her while they waited for them to be poured. She smiled again at him.
How? Really, how do they do that, be so affectionate and so obviously in love with one another? Third marriage for both? Recently? Or just that together after that many years? Call me overly sensitive these days, but in way I marveled at them, in another way I wanted to groan at the public display.
I am doing a stint of hosting to get the feel for the flow and pace of my new restaurant, which I am enjoying far more than I thought I would. I love being at the door and back on the floor, again. I may fill in as maitre d’ now and then, so I am glad to have this time to hover and watch and learn how it’s done here.
I watched this couple in between seatings and menu sweeps and phone calls. He kissed her again. And again. They sipped their drinks. They bent their heads close to one another. And they kissed some more. Geez.
When he signaled the maitre d’ he was ready for their table, I asked them to follow me to their table. And I fully expected them to sit on one side of the booth and dispense with her menu. That’s what romantic couples do down here–sit as close together as possible on one side of a booth and only utilize one menu. It took me a few seatings to get that nuance. I am still not sure why reading from one menu is romantic, but apparently it is.
Except she quickly grabbed the menu from my hands, before I’d even offered it. And when he tried to sit on her side of the booth, she gently pushed him away. “Sit across from me, so we can talk.” Uh oh. Maybe not so romantic as I thought.
“Well, there goes THAT plan to be sexy with her…now or later,” he laughed and winked at me. Which made me blush a little under my sunburn, not because I was offended, but because I felt embarrassed for her that he would say such a thing to me in front of her.
But wait, weren’t they married?
The cocktail server brought over their bottle of wine in a table-top cooler. “Hey, I have one of these at home,” he remarked to his…wife?
“You do?” she asked him.
If they were married, she’d know about the wine cooler, right? Kisses and a ring on her left hand aside, that is. I stole another look at the ring she was wearing. Oh, just a random ring. Not a wedding ring. So, this is what, almost a first date?
“Yeah, works great, as long as you pre-chill it. You sure you don’t want me to sit next to you?”
“No, this is fine.”
That about summed it up. I obviously have no clue what goes on between anyone anymore. I think I have lost most of my ability to get it, at least here in this foreign land. So much to wade through, then not much there, after all.
Multiple reservations, updates, and seatings later, the in-love, not-so-in-love couple was ready to leave. And there they were, arms linked, nuzzling and kissing each other as they walked toward the front door. Guess he got to the other side of the booth, wink wink.
Meanwhile, greetings from my brave new world!
Kiss, kiss, xoxo!