Over dinner, we laughed, told stories, and carried on - especially the men since they were old friends who only saw each other a few times a year.
After the meal, we went to a pub. Both guys were total boozers and when they went up to the bar to buy another round, I looked at the woman and without an ounce of malice or pity, plainly asked, "Doesn't the drinking get to you?"
What followed were a strange few minutes with me patiently waiting for an answer while she jerked around in her seat like a just caught fish dying on the line. I mean, after we left the restaurant but before we got to the pub, her fellow had made a point of stopping the car to get himself more beer for later. He was going to drink alone after date night was over - surely she had an opinion she wanted to share! Then slowly as a sunrise, it occurred to me that it's not a good idea to casually ask a quiet, British bank teller you have known for 2 ½ hours what she thinks of her husband’s alcoholism.
All I can say in my defense is that I was tired and what I was thinking in my head had accidentally fallen of my mouth. I was about to apologize when she quickly blurted, "Yes," a nanosecond before the boys sat down with more beer.