Usually I don’t mind eating alone. In fact, I kind of like it. Nobody pays any attention to you (including the waiters, which, okay, can be the downside) and I can just sit there unobtrusively drinking my wine while trying to figure out everybody’s story instead of listening with faux-rapt attention to whoever I might be dining with (this is, after all, what a flâneur does).
For instance, last night I ate alone at La Taverna Ristorante in Perugia. While I was waiting for my ravioli di radicchio e speck al gorgonzola e pere, which was very good by the way, two different couples walked in. Both dressed head-to-toe in black (it’s an Italian/NY thing). The women looked so similar they could have been sisters: early 30s, black shoulder-length hair (great cuts), pale skin, dark eyes, Roman noses, hoop earrings (are they back?). One of the guys was better looking than the other: better haircut, better suit. The other guy wore a stretched-out turtleneck and had a Beatles haircut (which, I’ll admit, looked very hip in 1963). Otherwise, demographically identical couples.
One couple—let’s call them the “Cute Couple”—do all the date things: run fingers along the rims of their wine glasses while they’re oh-so-intently listening to the other’s story; she plays with her hair, he puts an index finger on his cheek; they laugh and tilt their heads at the same time; touch hands, faces, thighs; ignore their food when it comes.
The other couple—“It’s So Over,” shall we call them?—keep their coats on; sit with their hands on their laps; and talk to the chef, Claudio, when he wheels his cart over to slice up some lamb for them, but otherwise ignore each other.
Question: Which couple is going to get laid tonight?
It’s obvious, huh. So what do you think–was it the guy’s haircut?