Don’t sit so, don’t sit so, don’t sit so close to me…

24 Oct

A young couple at Yard House is so obviously hot for each other that they’re publicly banging body parts, elbows that is, in the booth near my friend and me.   It’s Happy Hour on a Friday night so they are not the only two seated in the crowded restaurant this way.  The guy is left handed and noticeably he’s having a tough time cutting into his bloody steak without jabbing his bubbly female dinner companion right in the breast. While he must enjoy the heat of the two of them sitting so close, he must also move his knife carefully, daintily even.  I doubt he’ll ever get a real mouthful before the whole meal goes cold.

My friend Michelle rolls her eyes.  She’s been married close to twenty years to her high school sweetheart.  “Seriously,” she says.  “How is sitting side by side more intimate?  They can’t even see each other.”

A big production about this most strange foreplay position with couples and food was made in the film “Date Night.”  A boring husband and wife from the burbs had lost their sexual edge because they no longer shared the same lap napkin.  Instead they preferred sitting across from one another in order to hold a conversation.  After a madcap night in Manhattan where implausible events occurred they, of course, renewed their love by morning, sitting side by side in some greasy spoon.  We are to assume satisfying sex soon followed.

But does my friend have a point?  Maybe.  I have had the unfortunate experience of sitting beside a man (whom everybody said was gay) at a dinner event as I felt him place an underhanded, and dare I mention clammy hand on my thigh.  Another time as a teenager, I was enduring the tail end of a movie on a bad date with a fifteen year old who sweated a hand print into the fabric of my jeans.  Neither of these instances brought me any closer to these two awful males even though I was mere inches away.

How we communicate, how we first even fall in love, happens through the meeting of our eyes.  And if relationships are to last, if a leisurely meal is to be shared, shouldn’t it occur without possible injury – without clashing cutlery or suffering a neck cramp from an awkward turn in a booth that offers a much better, more comfortable view?


Leave a Reply


  1. Miles Munson

    October 24, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    A fantastic piece! I have thought this very thing about couples cramped in booths. Please continue with your ever entertaining blog.

    All best,


  2. Mary Ann

    October 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Paula that is very funny and insightful. There is something to be said for sitting across from each other. The eye contact is the most intimate moment.

  3. Michelle

    October 25, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I’m so thankful that my husband, who enjoys being close to me, does not insist on harming me and causing us both neck pain while we share a meal. Plus, sitting on the same side of the table/booth looks a little codependent.

    • Paula

      October 25, 2011 at 10:43 am

      So true about the co-dependency and almost a little desperate. There’s no need to try that hard in a public place. Thanks to you, Mary Ann and Miles for reading!

      • Lupe G.

        October 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm

        That is hilarious! Now I’m going to be on the lookout for those kind of needy couples.

        • Sunday Times Reader

          October 27, 2011 at 9:07 am

          We both were laughing at this piece on public displays of affection as well and look forward to your next post!

          • Ashley

            October 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

            I’ve had a guy try and sit with me that way and it so sucked! loved this!