by Gena Kaufman
Romulo YanesLast week the Atlantic Wire published a piece about the beauty of eating at the bar when you're alone. Yesterday, Slate re-visited the topic and took it a step further, arguing that eating at the bar is actually the perfect seating arrangement for a date. So today I'm joining in on the conversation to ask Smitten readers what they think.
Of course, I'll start by telling you what I think! Eating at the bar truly is a great tip for people who are afraid to dine alone. (But don't be!) As noted, it reduces the sense of loneliness by giving you access to the bartender and other patrons who might chat with you, and not having to stare at an empty seat for an hour does make it feel way less lame. Because there's really no such thing as a table for one. There are always two chairs. And did I ever tell you guys about my first venture out on my own in Paris, when the restaurant straight up refused to seat me because I was alone? Does anyone know how to translate "That was way harsh, Tai!" into French?
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For a date though, I'm kind of torn. Slate points out that it gives you more conversation starters by being able to watch the bar action, and neither person gets stuck facing a wall or wedged into a table they can't get out of easily. Good point--there's nothing worse than trying to fit your big old butt through a tiny space between tables while a guy you just met watches and smirks. (You = me, from experience, in that fun anecdote.) Plus, I do like the casual, sociable feel of sitting at the bar for a first date.
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On the other hand, depending on the noise level of the bar, it can feel a little awkward to be making getting-to-know-you conversation while a bartender stands in front of you mixing drinks and cringing at your awkward laughter. And if you or your date have short attention spans, the distraction of TVs and people ordering shots could be problematic. Plus, it certainly doesn't feel as intimate. That could be a positive or a negative depending on how the date's going.
OK, your turn. Vote and share your thoughts below.
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by Gena Kaufman