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Single Diner Called Out For Eating Alone At The Only Two-Seat Table In A Small Restaurant

Pablo Merchán Montes/Unsplash

Dining alone is a perfectly normal thing to do, but some people seem to think it’s not only strange, but downright rude.

A woman on Reddit recently came face-to-face with this debate.

When she went to dinner by herself, a couple came in demanding she move from the table they wanted, even though there were several other open tables.

She took her time and enjoyed her meal anyway, but she wasn’t sure about how she’d handled it. So she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for input.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by the username Restaurant_Conflicts on the site,  asked:

“AITA For taking the only two seat table in the restaurant all to myself?”

She explained:

“Throwaway account.”

“I (35F[emale]) have given up on dating but still enjoy date activities, so once a month I take myself out on a date.”

“I go out to the movies, museums and even mini golf by myself.”

“And I always treat myself to a nice lunch/dinner around 3-4pm, after the lunch rush but before the dinner rush to so I have plenty of time to enjoy my food.”

“For my ‘self-dates’ I always look for a new restaurant to try. Saturday I found this great little Mediterranean place.”

“It’s a real gem, hidden away at the end of a strip mall, with murals on the walls, lovely guitar music, and only about seven tables total.”

“When I got there only one other table was occupied and I sat in the only two seater table.”

“The waiter got me my drink and I had just put in my order when a couple walked in.”

They looked around the small restaurant, saw me at the only two seat table and approached the waiter.”

“I was on my Kindle and not paying attention until I heard the waiter say ‘there are plenty of other tables’.”

“They whisper argued for another minute before I heard the man say ‘she won’t take that long to eat. She’s all alone’.”

“The woman huffed and they sat at the four seat table right next to me.”

“They ordered waters and loudly said they were still deciding what they wanted but were clearly stalling because she looked right at me as she said it. I chose to ignore it.”

“When I treat myself to self-dates I go all out and order an appetizer, soup/salad, and entrée. My appetizer came out and I clearly heard the man say ‘see it’s just a small meal, she’ll be gone soon.'”

“I didn’t say anything and just enjoyed my food.”

“When I finished the woman grabbed her purse like she was going to dash to my table before someone else came in, only for the waiter to bring out my soup.”

“I took my time eating the soup as the waiter again asked the couple if they’re ready to order. The woman said they’re still deciding and needed water refills.”

“Then my entrée came out. As soon as they saw it the woman said, ‘are you f***ing kidding me!'”

“The food was amazing and even though I knew they were waiting for my table I took my time appreciating my meal.”

“Halfway through, the waiter again asked them if they were ready. The man said he was starving and ordered.”

“The woman was clearly not happy but also ordered. I was tempted to order dessert too but I was stuffed.”

“I paid my check and as I was leaving I saw the couple moving their plates over to my table, which hadn’t even been cleared off yet.”

“At the time I thought it was hilarious but, when I told my friends about it, they said I had been an AH.”

“They said restaurants like that were for couples on dates not single people and that it wouldn’t have been a big deal for me to move or gotten take away and eaten at home.”

“I said it was 4pm not prime date time and that there were five other tables to pick from, but they said I’d taken the most romantic table and ruined their date for my own enjoyment.”

“Now I’m not sure and I’m asking the internet for an impartial judgement.”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

As you might guess, they were firmly on OP’s side and could not believe the way the other customers had behaved.

“NTA. You took the smallest table available, which happened to be a two-seat table. What would anyone expect you to do, except exactly that?… Fu*k that nonsense.” –Kris_Third_Account

“It’s complete nonsense. So single people can’t enjoy a nice meal now…? They have to get takeout and hide in their homes to make space for those on dates? LOL.”

“Also, even if you went at peak hours it still wouldn’t matter. OP is a paying customer. Has just as much right to be there as anyone else.”

“NTA.” –Any_Cantaloupe_613

“Fu*k that nonsense. Sums it up nicely for anyone who would judge Y T A”

“I occasionally “date” myself My Hubby thinks it’s odd AF and has even offered to pick up the tab if I went with a friend, but a couple of hours to eat what I want, at the pace I want and go see a movie in peace and quiet! BLISS!”

“NTA.” –tinytyranttamer

“This makes zero sense (a couple preferring a smaller table). I love spreading out in a booth if one’s available.”

“Even if the 4 top is 4 chairs, I’d like to put my purse on its own chair and be able to spread out multiple dishes/drinks on the table.”

“OP was seated next to a couple of crazy people who hate space and love feeling confined. You can’t please crazy.” –Individual_Baby_2418

“I would have ordered dessert, nibbled at it slowly, put a show on my kindle laughed raucously as I picked my teeth and rubbed my belly complimenting the food to the wait staff at every opportunity.”

“Then tipped far more than usual and before I left so they would “be on my side”.”

“People who are loudly passive aggressive can get bent. NTA” –Facetunethis

“Piggy backing on this, if the restaurant was for couples wouldn’t they have a plethora of 2 seater tables?”

“Absolutely NTA”

“My wife and I will often go out to places and if they are quiet, camp out with a book each, we prefer a 4 seater, so we can sit next to each other. I really don’t understand their need for a 2 top.” –Gurus_username

“NTA If they were uncomfortable with 2 empty seats how much more uncomfortable would you be with 3 empty seats?”

“This wasn’t a cafeteria where people need to fill up all the empty spots before going to the next table.”

“And really, your friends? They appear to be shaming you for your self date hobby (which I think is brilliant btw) so I would ignore them.”

“I am of the opinion that a person by themselves should always sit where they’re taking up the least space.”

This is not a high end date focused restaurant, those either have 2 seat spots as the majority or require a reservation.”

“This is just a small restaurant that made the most efficient use of their floor plan. You’re friends are ridiculous and that couple were pretentious entitled idiots.” –Throwawayhater3343

“I would be inclined to ask if it were ‘meant for’ couples on dates why aren’t there more two seater tables?”

“I would also put on my petty pants and every time the couple claimed they were “still deciding” I would loudly interject my praise and recommendation that they consider trying whatever it was that I was eating while chewing very skowly.” –Fingersmith30

“Apparently not intended for couples on dates if there’s only one table intended for two in the restaurant. Sounds like it’s just a small restaurant if it’s only got 7 tables.”

“Plus how lucky for such a small but good restaurant to apparently only have a couple of tables filled on a Saturday night that you can just walk in and have your pick of any table and you want one of the only two that’s already occupied?”

“Talk about entitled much?”

“Also call me crazy but I’d imagine taking a slightly bigger table makes for more room and comfort for the two of them to spread out and relax. Why is the smaller one more appealing, is that just me?”

“Definitely NTA.” –Artemis597

“Sorry your friends have such a couple-centric view of the dining world. You were one person at a 2 top. Would it be just as “wrong” to seat 3 people at a 4 top?”

“What would have been rude is for a single person to take up an entire 6 person booth when there were smaller tables and larger groups waiting. That’s the only time I could stretch to see an issue.”

“That couple had some weird ideas that they had to sit at a two person table. But 90% of the time when my wife and I go out, we are seated at a table meant for 4 people. Bet that couple would hate us :)” –Kevwelch

Hopefully OP can avoid customers like this in the future.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.