Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: Breaking up at a restaurant/bar
I've never actually ended a relationship in a public place. I hate the idea of sitting down at a table and going through the motions with someone while all the time I know I want to call it off. In today's column, Owl Meat meditates on the idea of breaking up at a restaurant or bar.
We need to talk.
It's the linguistic four horsemen of relationships. The sadistic slow burn that often precedes the swirly-gurgly rending of your heart in the InSinkErator of love. "We need to talk at dinner," is even more ominous.
Breaking up in a bar or restaurant is a high-wire act. It's commonplace in movies and on TV, but does it occur in real life that often?
I'm not talking about the spontaneous rift or drunken squall. I mean the polite, premeditated relationship conclusion. ...
I've never been part of something so well-planned and civilized. Then again, people on TV and film "date" in a manner that seems alien to me.
I suppose that the idea behind breaking up in pubic is to minimize the possibility of an ugly extended scene. The risk is that if such a scene does happen in public, it would be more embarrassing. The breakup is a key plot device on Seinfeld. Nobody had more funny and dysfunctional breakups.
I now offer some real world suggestions for those who want to slaughter Cupid in public. In the human equation, all variables should be considered for your own well-being. Change the genders to suit your needs.
1) Don't do it where your friends hang out. She might embarrass you in very personal ways. Nobody wants a new nickname given by an angry para-no-mour.
2) Don't go to places where her friends gather. Duh.
3) Meet there. Make sure you have your own transportation home.
4) Don't wear anything you care about. Red wine can fly.
5) No sizzling plates or fondue. You don't want to spend the night in the ER with third degree Asiago burns and a long fork in your thigh.
6) No steakhouses – knives.
7) Nothing fancy. Don't waste an expensive dinner on a walk out.
8) Don't wait until you are filled to the gills to spill. Stay in control.
9) Don't go to any place that you ever want to go back to.
10) After dessert just tell the truth: "It's not me. It's you."
I'm sure that every bar and restaurant owner and employee would prefer that you handle these situations privately. Watching other people fight in public is not fun at all.
Someone once said that all relationships end in breakups or death. I believe in something more romantic and beautiful ... arbitration. Actually, I always believe that things will work out, which makes me ... an optimist? You didn't see that coming, did you?
As always, I humbly solicit your stories of personal or observed comedy and tragedy involving public breakups. Oh, and Jennifer, meet me at Birches tonight at eight. We need to talk.