Lovers’ Lane

Posted on Saturday 28 October 2006

“Oh no, don’t look,” said one of our evening hosts a few nights ago.

Of course, we all looked where she was looking.

And there they were–another romantic couple without a care in the world that the host staff, managers, back wait staff, and pretty much everyone else in the restaurant could see them.

Booth 307–perfect for anniversary celebrants, couples ready to take their casual relationship to the next level, and anyone else who wants to be lucky in love. No kidding, people cannot help themselves when seated here. It doesn’t matter how stilted and formal they are when they walk in, Booth 307 lulls them into snuggling and kissing within a half hour.

It’s magic!

“Do you think they think we can’t see them?” asked another host as the couple’s lingering kiss lingered on and on.

“Maybe,” I said. “But maybe they don’t care. No one seems to care about anything except each other when they’re seated in that booth.”

“I think it is so romantic,” the first host sighed. And the three of us continued our momentary voyeurism in silence.

We are very careful about who we seat in 307. What’s one booth, you ask, in the grand scheme of seating? A lot, especially on a busy weekend night. Shifting preassigned tables sometimes means rewriting the entire map. Thus, the hosts and I scan the reservation notes very carefully before we assign 307.

“My friend’s birthday,” reads one note. Iffy. Might just be a couple of friends out to celebrate. No need for 307.

“A nice quiet table,” reads another. Hmm. Maybe.

We continue reading through notes for deuces that simply state “Web Reservation” or “Window Seat” or “Non smoking” and look for more overt requests. Finally, we snag one:

“Romantic table for our anniversary, if you have one.” Yes! 307, penciled in for 7:30 p.m.

“Do you think it has the same effect at lunch?” wondered the second evening host.

Both hosts looked at me, waiting for an answer. They know I know lunch.

“Actually, I have never seated 307 at lunch,” I told them.

“Try it, tomorrow,” the first said.

“Yeah, see what happens,” the other added.

I assured them I would, if the right couple came in. It would be Friday, after all. Maybe not every guest would be power lunching.

“Do you have a private booth?” asked our first guest yesterday at noon. “The other person will be here in just a minute.” I tried to read him in the few seconds I had to gather up menus. Here to talk torts? Navigate a competitor’s nuance? Salvage a sale?

I showed him to an area of booths I knew would be less crowded at lunch.

“Actually, I was thinking ‘private’ as in not next to a window, where someone can see in.”

Oh really?

Booth 307, get ready. Although there are windows near this booth, they are covered in shades.

“Will this be okay?”

“Perfect,” he smiled.

His guest arrived moments later–a petite woman carrying only a purse. No laptop, no visible Blackberry. Anything could happen from this point on, I decided, even in the bright light of broad daylight.

I observed them as much as I could. We don’t have a regular daytime host, so I was it yesterday. Which was fine because I could interact with guests that much more. But I wished at least one of our evening hosts was there to help keep watch over 307.

But here’s what I was able to observe:

*No kissing, but intense conversation.

*No snuggling, but heads very close to one another to keep up the intense conversation.

*No dreamy smiling into one another’s eyes, but many knowing looks exchanged.

I have no idea what was up. Beginning of an affair? Covert operation? Secret job interview?

Lunch service 307–mysterious. Dinner service 307–where lovers light.

Worlds apart. Worlds to watch.

Only just a glimpse, from afar.

9 Comments for 'Lovers’ Lane'

  1.  
    October 28, 2006 | 5:11 pm
     

    I need booth 307 tonight here in Manila. I met this girl at the party and asked her out to dinner. She’s beautiful and nice and just drop open your mouth and let it hit the ground gorgeous.

    Please send booth 307 to me tonight. I need some romancin’…:)

  2.  
    Restaurant Gal
    October 29, 2006 | 12:19 am
     

    Aaron–Consider it sent!

  3.  
    October 29, 2006 | 5:25 pm
     

    She texted in sick. Said she had fever. I offered to have her come over and hang out, watch movies, etc. She said she couldn’t stand. I replied with a sad face and said ok. She texted back saying she’d try to come later.

    I then felt guilty for forcing her so I texted saying she didn’t need to worry.

    The girl who had told me she was single, not attached or anything? Texted back saying she was with her man.

    All I could text back was, “Uh…ok. Text me later…”

    Gal, you have no idea how much that just made the last few weeks worse. Either she felt obligated to say yes to the date and then didn’t wanna show or she was really sick. Too much madness. Ug.

    Thanks for the send…but it appears in the thousands of miles of transmission there was a short circuit….:)

    *head explodes*

  4.  
    October 29, 2006 | 6:24 pm
     

    Ooh…a very fun and intriguing read…Maybe the mysterious couple from lunch will come back and you can make more observations.

  5.  
    October 30, 2006 | 10:31 pm
     

    Aaron–I am thinking two things: the time difference in sending booth 307 to you (you are 12 hours ahead or something), and 307 isn’t meant for first dates!

    Good luck with the next date.

    Best, The Gal

  6.  
    October 31, 2006 | 4:36 am
     

    This 307 booth needs a manual!..:) Just kiddin’

    She texted me today and we’re back on for sometime this week. Her friend took her phone and texted she was with her man to mess with my mind. Apparently.

    Only in the Philippines..:).

  7.  
    November 1, 2006 | 1:30 pm
     

    And yes, I know it’s a little weird telling you all my sordid details on you comment wall…but I very few American friends to talk to here…and thus you get my dirty laundry…:)

  8.  
    Rachel
    November 5, 2006 | 4:14 pm
     

    On Aaron’s case, I have to say, a friend of mine taught in china and had an equally impossible time with a woman he met there…

    In other news, there’s somebody I’d love to have take me to a meal at booth 307…sadly I doubt we and ‘the booth’ are on the same continent, let alone in the same city. Ah well. If it can get to Manila…

  9.  
    November 6, 2006 | 9:58 am
     

    Girl,

    Anything is possible. If they’re worth it it can happen. Ya just gotta believe…:)

    That and drop all kinds of madz hints!..*chuckles*

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