Sunday, October 12, 2008

Choose a Side - I Mean Two Sides

So I went out in Greenwich with two friends last night to have a few adult beverages. For those of you who aren't from Connecticut, Greenwich is a wealthy place where everyone acts like Thurston Howell III, including the women. It might be the people watching capitol of the world. We were out for four hours and I never saw anyone's jaws move the whole night. I thought the whole place had TMJ. It was amazing.

But I digress. The first people I watched was a couple just inside the front door of our first stop. Actually it was Barcelona, the tapas restaurant -- the appetizers, not the nipples -- that I mentioned a few blogs ago.

This couple was unremarkable other than the man looked like....oh, I'd say....what you'd picture Jimmy Buffett's dad might be. In a town of Warren Buffetts, we found a Jimmy Buffett. Anyway, Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy were immediately noticeable because they were "those people."

They were "The Same Side of the Table People." You know, the couple that is eating together and they want the world to know that they cannot have as much as a table between them. They turn their noses up at the notion of sitting in a mere chair in order to sit together on the "bench" side of the table. You'll also notice throughout the meal that they constantly whisper to each other, they often feed each other morsels of food, and their hands disappear under the table for extended periods of time. (No, I will not continue that thought or otherwise speculate on the hand-to-hand combat that might be occurring under the table. Ew.)

Same Side of the Table People, or SSTPeeps, through their defiant choice of togetherness, are essentially telling all others they are simpletons in the world of affection expression. It's not nearly enough to enjoy a pricey meal together, especially with the economy in the potty. It's not nearly enough to present your date with a single rose during the appetizers. And, a dessert with a candle in it for a birthday or anniversary. Pffffft! We need no such amateurish nonsense. We are hopelessly and madly in love and must do everything side by side.

But I think the opposite is true. They are attention whores who need to stand out for whatever reason. Inadquacies. Mommy issues. They are Cubs fans. Who knows.

They make everyone uncomfortable due to their stubborn insistence on being different. Other patrons don't know what to make of them. Waiters don't know how to serve them. And nobody knows what to do with the empty chair. It looks like it's waiting for a bad Jewish wedding reception to break out. Or maybe a good Jewish reception. As a Gentile, I cannot distinguish such things.

So what happens when SSTPeeps leave the establishment. Everyone relaxes a little bit, just from knowing the crazy people have left. Maybe there's a slight buzz in the restaurant as people say things such as "thank God they found each other" or "holy cow, that guy looks like Jimmy Buffett."

And the rest of us are just happy we can have a piece of cheesecake with a candle in it on our special day without being judged by romantic snobs. I mean really -- would Thurston and Lovey sit on the same side of the table? Not on an island, not in a restaurant. Neither should we.


J. said...

Speaking on behalf of SSTPeeps, I think it's sorta sweet. I'm not that into the whole SST thing myself but my adoring, hand-holding, feeds me morsels spouse is, and he often likes to cuddle with me during a meal, other patrons and wait staff be damned! And, I have to admit, even though I like my personal space, I think it's kinda sweet and romantic.

More importantly, what's the big deal? It's no morsel off your plate which side of the table we and others like us sit on. You got some intimacy issues, Tommy? As I recall... Nah. I'll just leave it there.

Anonymous said...

As an occasional SSTPeep, I tell you that I think it is sweet. I am not communicating, nor do I think I convey, that I cannot have even a table between me and my love. Rather I think we do it because we truly enjoy one another's company. Having said that we have not done that a great deal, and it seems the majority of the times we've done that have been after a period of extended absense where he had been on a trip for work.

Nonetheless, I used to make fun of SSTPeeps until I was one of them. And having been one of "those people" I can complete understand the mentality.

Susan said...

From one gentile to another, I LOVE the way you think and I LOVE the way you write.

Back up off me if there's food in front of me. And, yes, I realize there's almost always food in front of me. Get a cat if you want something to pet.

BigMaryCool said...

Okay, two comments:

1. Jimmy Buffett looks like Bob McGrath on Seasame Street! My first thought was "Why is Bob on this blog??" Then I read further, and realized it was Jimmy Buffett (I'm too young to recognize Jimmy B., but know that whacky singing Bob.
2. That SSTPeep thing annoys me too. Really. It creates confusion ofr so many people, espeically the food service folks. I like my personal space. Anyhow, I'm usally sharing a side of a booth with my 10 month old anyway......

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

The only reason I can see for sitting on the same side of the table is if both people want the same section of the Times.

Mary Theresa Kiely said...

as a former waitress, I can attest to people's strong preference for sitting in a booth. Maybe both persons wanted the cushy bench seat?

And maybe it's my Catholic school experience, where we got detention for PDE (public display of afffection) but I think snuggling at the table is sickening. Eat in the eating place.

TSpeedo said...

What everyone else said.

Heather said...

The last time I saw SSTPeeps it was at Morton's Steak House and she was clearly on the clock.

We seem to share a love of acronyms. I use them in golf/life all the time. Just wrote about them too! I have to add SSTPeeps to the list of favs.