I don’t mind it.
When I’m in need of something delicious and I’m on my own, my go to spot is Pagliacci’s. It’s everyone’s favourite. (Get there early, or you’ll be lining up out the door.)
Tables are jam-packed in the small space and the wait staff fairly fly out of the kitchen with baskets of bread, carafes of wine and plates of steaming pasta.
There’s so much energy that it’s a comfortable place for a solo meal.
I’ve never had a bad experience there…until today.
I was next in line (party of one), followed by a nervous-looking couple. A table for four became available.
“Just give me a minute to get your table ready,” said the hostess, grabbing three menus and ducking back into the restaurant.
Table? I glanced at the couple behind me.
Moments later she came back. “Follow me.”
She’d moved the two tables that made up the table for four apart–about three inches–to give us a semblance of privacy.
We sat at our separate tables but because we were so close I couldn’t not hear every word of their conversation. It was stilted and awkward–typical first date stuff.
I got a crick in my neck from looking away from them so I didn’t loom like a Victorian chaperone, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t fool anyone. We all knew I was the third wheel on their romantic bicycle.
We had to give up the pretence when we realized I had the sugar, which she needed for her coffee and they had the pepper, which I wanted for my linguine.
When their talk turned to lotteries, she asked me if I knew how many numbers you pick for a 6-49 ticket. Embarrassingly, I was able to jump right into the conversation as if I’d been following every word.
I hope their next date is better. I don’t plan on attending, which should be a giant leap in the right direction.
Oh and the gorgeous pale mauve purse? I saw it, loved it, wanted it and didn’t buy it. It’s a small victory in my quest to stop the mindless shopping.