Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The practice of dining

Do you eat better when you’re single or when you're dating?

I used to think it was when you started dating someone new that you feasted better and more than any other time. During this lovely phase, there’s a lot of wooing going on—the guy’s usually trying to impress you, so he does his restaurant sleuthing and picks the perfect one. He actually makes reservations, insists on a bottle of wine and a starter and, finally, a dessert to complete the decadent dinner (okay, pourquoi pas?!) It’s all so indulgent and fun—your eyes, sparkly from infatuation, are especially large and open to trying things on the menu. Yet since you’re hyper-aware of how you look chewing, and with the potential of being naked at a later hour, you somehow manage to go out to these giant dinners without packing on weight.

But now that I’ve been a spinster forever, it’s occurred to me that I go out for dinner a good four nights a week. I’m eating quite well. Better than well, in fact. Because I still have dates—they just happen to be with girlfriends.

It's a symptom of being single in a city—your social calendar takes over your life. I mean, God forbid you let one night pass without going out and doing something. There’s so much happening out there in the world, a girl’s gotta eat, and with a whole roster of restaurants you’re dying to try, why not let that something be dinner? (I ask that, ignoring the conspicuous five extra pounds attached to my ass.)

This dining, dining, dining is strictly a girl thing though. You never see a table of four dudes, whopping it up with a bottle of wine and a smorgasbord of appetizers. Or two guys splitting dessert, their eyes blissfully rolling in the back of their heads. Going out for dinner is a way women reward themselves. For the long hours we put in at the office. For the crap we put up with on the dating scene. For the inferiority complex of not having a ring on our finger. And because some of us just really like to eat. Restaurants have become an urban sport.

I know it’s not just me. Look around the room the next time you go to that adorable wine bar, the neighborhood bistro, that hot-to-trot newbie that was just fawned over in Elle. It’ll be about 50% couples (half blissed out in the early dating stages; half totally bored with each other and managing to not find a single thing to say until the bill comes), 10% single guys (good chance, on business) and 40% single girls.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Like I said, a girl’s gotta eat. And this girl is all about eating well.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I *never* had guys do the restaurant sleuthing for dates. Too many NYC hipster dudes, maybe - a bar and some indie music was always the plan. So yes! Count yourself lucky. Great dinners out (in Paris!) with friends - DEFINITELY better!