By Kristin van Ogtrop
Updated January 22, 2015
Hands holding glasses of red wine in restaurant
Credit: 4 Eyes Photography/Getty Images

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been on vacation and am now in my vacation mourning period, which may last for some time. Don’t you think returning from vacation should involve some sort of decompression phase, like a slow ascent from deep waters to avoid the bends? You know, a few extra days “vacation” at home, time to adjust to the dog hair and the bored kids and the fact that you get so much junk mail?

Anyway, a dear colleague is leaving our company and last night I took him out to dinner to thank, congratulate, and celebrate with him. At the table next to us was a good-looking couple who appeared to be in their 40s, or thereabouts. I couldn’t hear anything they were saying and couldn’t really see her because she was sitting on my side of the table and had a whole lot of fluffy hair that sort of blocked her face.

About half an hour into their meal, the woman got up. I glanced over and saw that she had a pretty face and was wearing an interesting dress, kind of shiny and short with long sleeves. What a nice dress, I thought. She leaned over to give the man a kiss. Oh, how sweet, I thought. Then she kept kissing him. A bit odd, I thought. The kiss just went on and on. OK, you two, knock it off. Finally she trounced away to the bathroom.

When she reappeared at the table, she stopped next to his chair and kissed him again! This had now entered that wonderful realm of Truly Fascinating Behavior that Makes Me Wish I Were a Psychologist (TFBMMWWP). They don’t happen very often, these TFBMMWWP moments, but they are glorious when they do and terrific while they last.

Over the course of the meal, the woman got up three times and the man got up once. Each time there was a not-so-brief kissing situation that punctuated the bathroom visits. In answer to your question, of course I looked for wedding rings. It appeared the woman was wearing one, which made the whole thing even more complicated. (Or maybe there’s just something really wrong with my marriage, and the marriages of just about everyone I know. Should we all be doing more making out at the table?) When it was time for us to leave, it took everything in my power not to lean over to them and say, “Hey, kids, what’s the deal?”

Were they:

1. two people having an affair?

2. a married couple who really hate each other and feel they have something to prove to the world?

3. auditioning for a reality show?

4. just madly in love (and so get a grip, you big cynic)

Any psychologists out there, armchair or otherwise, who want to weigh in?