Okay. Okay. One more story about the cruise and then I'll stop. Promise.*
On our first evening, Mrs. P and I ate dinner in one of the ship's dining rooms. We each had the same thing — a tiny portion of broiled cod, a dollop of parsley mashed potatoes and a single sprig of broccoli. Of course, we could have opted to order six or seven more complete servings, but it was only our first night. After dinner, we paid a short visit to the casino (we won!) and then headed to a scheduled session of "Name That Tune" that was to take place in one of the many lounges on board.
The lounge was beginning to fill up as eager participants and tipsy observers grabbed themselves one of the many mismatched chairs and love seats that were scattered about the room. Mrs P and I selected a pair of overstuffed armchairs. Another couple soon approached and asked if the two seats next to us were occupied. We answered "no," and welcomed them to join us. They were considerably younger than we are and, if I had to venture a guess, I would have put their ages somewhere in the area of our son's (middle 20s).
Past experiences have proven that in the early days of a cruise, guests tend to be very friendly in hopes of securing an on-board friendship that will last for the entire trip. We started right in, turning on our "friendly" full-blast, asking the standard "where are you from" and "what do you do" questions. After the initial ice-breaking, the young lady of the pair leaned in close to Mrs. P and whispered confidentially, "Are you two a couple?"
My wife looked the woman in the eye and, though puzzled by the inquiry, replied with a broad clarifying question, "What do you mean?"
"I mean are you two married?," the young woman asked with earnest in her voice.
"Yes, of course." Mrs. P answered, "Why do you ask?"
She kind of wrinkled up her face and pointed in my direction, "Well, he's obviously so much older than you. I just figured that he picked you up in a bar or something and asked you to come on this cruise."
Mrs. P smiled. Then laughed. Then she told me about her little exchange with her new best friend.
And she laughed again.
* this should not be taken as a binding guarantee.