From about a kilometre up Bray Promenade, there was no way of telling if they were a married couple but I was definitely backing the affair. It wasn’t as though they looked loveless, anything but in fact. She walked by his side, and laughed at whatever it was he was saying and pulled her blonde hair back from her face every minute or so whenever the breeze caught it. You could tell that she loved having his attention.
And she certainly had it. He kept his eyes on her and smiled at whatever they were saying to each other. He even tried walking closer to her every few steps, until their arms bumped off each other. Not in an awkward way, but the rest of the picture I’m going to paint might give a clearer idea of why my money’s on the unwedded bliss theory. Why did they not hold hands you might ask?
Walking along slowly in front of the pair, were three young children. I’m not good with ages, but they looked to be in the market of under fives and over twos. A lively bunch, no doubt. Now you might think that that they didn’t hold hands, because they were paying attention to the posse of tots in front. No Sir – they looked longingly into each other’s eyes at every chance they got. Whenever he brushed off her tanned arm, he pulled back and looked at the kids, careful to create a distance between them whenever the little people were looking.
The leather trousered blonde, was equally as cautious of the children as she walked along the promenade. So much so, that it was clear after a few minutes that they weren’t hers and that there were no version of ‘hers’ anywhere on the planet. When they tripped, as kids do, she held back and move to help them up. When they called out, they called out to ‘Daddy’. They didn’t go near her, nor she them.
When the older of the girls dropped an ice cream near her, the first thing Blondie did was check was her shoes to see if they had been caught in the spill. Mind you, if I had a pair of Christian Louboutains, I might be inclined to be protective too, but I’ve got ‘Mammy’ friends, and I know that the ‘done thing’ would be to comfort the aggrieved kid and run off to grab replacements asap. Not Leggy Lady! As soon as Daddy motioned that he was going back to the kiosk to buy another ice cream, she looked at her watch, stomped her expensive shoe then folded her arms, prompting Daddy to revise his kiosk plan and continue walking with one child in tow ice creamless and despondent.
The hair fixing and wide eyes and sugary smiles continued as they made their way towards me at the end of the prom. As they did, the odds narrowed considerably, in fact betting was suspended. When he got closer you could see that Daddy wore his wedding band on his left hand like a good decent husband. Well played Daddy, you great big Christian! Our leather lady, however, wore no such ring. She had an impeccable set of manicured nails on her elegant fingers, but they were naked of wedding bands or prenuptial sparklers. It’s odds-on that she’s not his 9-5.
And as I smirked to myself at the thought that I had been right AGAIN… Genius that I am…the little boy of the trio tripped up on his untied shoe laces, and sent his melting cone splashing right into my face. You’d be surprised at how much face a half eaten ice cream will cover. All. of. it. I guess that’s the payout for nosy parkers like me, who should know better than to pry into the affairs of others.