MARTIN SOBELMAN, 41, a therapist, and HIS WIFE, DIANE, arrive in the evening at a restaurant where they’re regulars. They are seated at a candlelit table in the back. As they sit, DR. SOBELMAN checks his watch, and motions that his wife may begin speaking. MRS. SOBELMAN looks at MARTIN, but he does not speak. He simply smiles and waits.
MRS. SOBELMAN: So I bought that lamp today—the one with the purple flowers on the bottom. It was still on sale.
DR. SOBELMAN: (Smiling, nodding.) Mhmm …
MRS. SOBELMAN: So I think it might look good in the foyer right when you walk in. You know, on the right-hand side. Don’t you think?
DR. SOBELMAN: (Nodding.) If you think it might … perhaps …
(He looks down at his watch and nods as HIS WIFE continues to speak.)
MRS. SOBELMAN: (Opening the menu.) Yeah, I think it will. So what looks good? They have that New York strip steak you like. I’m not sure whether I’m in the mood for meat or chicken.
DR. SOBELMAN: Mhmm … I suppose there are benefits to each.
MRS. SOBELMAN: Ooh, or the penne. I think I’m going to get that. I would’ve been upset if I just ordered without looking at the whole menu. I always do that.
DR. SOBELMAN: It is something of a pattern for you.
MRS. SOBELMAN: Is it? I guess I didn’t even realize.
DR. SOBELMAN: The strength of the unconscious mind …
(DR. SOBELMAN smiles at HIS WIFE and nods. The waiter comes over. They order. DR. SOBELMAN checks his watch.)
MRS. SOBELMAN: Should I have ordered the steak, do you think?
DR. SOBELMAN: Naturally, every decision could be questioned after the fact. How do you feel about ordering the penne?
MRS. SOBELMAN: It’s not a big deal. I just sort of want steak now, I think. I’ll just have a taste of yours.
DR. SOBELMAN: This isn’t really about me … or about steak. It’s about accepting those decisions we’ve made. (He checks his watch and smiles, moving forward in his chair to stand.) It looks like we’re actually just about done.
MRS. SOBELMAN: We haven’t even gotten our food yet.
(DR. SOBELMAN stands, nods, and smiles.)
DR. SOBELMAN: I know … which we can absolutely discuss next time.
(DR. SOBELMAN pushes his chair back in and exits the restaurant, leaving HIS WIFE confused and angry about having to pay the bill.)