Back to the couple, who we initially thought were having an affair. In their mid- to late-fifties, they were both dressed smartly (obvious in the bright light of the mall), more smartly than was required of a shopper having a quick meal. She had incongruously pink finger nails, he'd carefully brushed his straggling strands of hair across his head to feign hirsutism. It wasn't working, but we gave him points for trying.
They were paying very close attention to what each was saying, laughing, looking into each other's eyes. It just seemed a wierd and very public place to be taking your mistress for dinner and it was then that G realised (she had the seat facing them) - internet date. The attention to detail, the perfect dressing, the fascinated concentration of conversation... the choice of public, well-lit place.
Finishing our pasta and wine, we walked past them on our way out, feeling suffocated by mall, and I silently wished them great love and an immediate connection because, honestly, I couldn't think of anything worse than internet dating.
The thought of having to meet some stranger in a mall, watched by curious people like me, fills me with fear and makes me come out in instant hives. Having to do it more than once sends me screaming, while sweating and getting hives, so my wish for her, with her 'I'm still fun' pink nails, is that it was her first attempted meet-up, and she will need to go on no more because he's her soulmate, straggling hair and all. They actually made a sweet couple but then I'm a hopeless romantic.
P.S. Note to self: you really, really, don't like malls. They make you feel like you can't breathe, despite endless voyeur opportunities within them.