Same-Side-Sitters

Batman and I don’t like when people sit on the same side of the booth.

There, I said it.

We call them same-side-sitters and we can’t stand it. Look, I understand if you’re waiting for another couple to join you or even one other person—you want to leave that side open because it’s their side. I get it. Batman and I have waited a few good minutes sitting side by side for Mrs. Whatever and her husband to join us for a meal at Applebees. It happens. Sure I’m uncomfortable and have to fight the urge to stand up and declare that although it looks like it, we are NOT same-side-sitters, but I get over it. Because it’s only a few minutes and deep in my heart I know that if we weren’t about to be joined by another couple or person, I would occupy the seat across from the caped crusader, so we could look each other face to face, as it should be.

I don’t get why two people have to share the same booth. I really don’t. I mean, wouldn’t your neck hurt after turning it (or keeping it turned) to talk to the person you’re with? It’s like meal first and chiropractors second. Why? I get there’s an intimacy of being RIGHT next to that person but you can be just as close with your own personal space. And, without having to injure your neck.

My first boyfriend was a same-side-sitter. I should’ve known then. I should’ve known it wouldn’t have worked out but I was in teenage love and more importantly, distracted with the free meal. I mean, when I slid into the booth and he came scooting in next to me, I thought… well this is odd. There’s a whole bench across from us and now I’ll have to spend the entirety of my meal turning to look at him when all I would have to do is look up, like normal people do in conversations. Was this how it worked in all relationships? THANK GOD NO.

When Batman and I were still testing the waters to this very strange ocean we’ve found ourselves, I remember meeting up at Logans or Longhorn or some place that served cow and really delicious buttery rolls. I arrived first because I needed to know the truth. Was he, like the first boyfriend, a same-side-sitter? I wasn’t going to doom the relationship over it but it was definitely a key point—a character trait I needed to know before we waded any further. And when Batman did show up, he slid right into the opposite side of the booth and I let out a deep sigh of relief. He noticed and asked what it was about.

Me: You passed the test.
Him: What test?
Me: You didn’t sit on the same side of the booth with me.
Him: Who does that?

You’d be surprised. It’s not terribly often that we see this occasion out in public, but it does exist and every time we spot them—the same-side-sitters—we dive into the inevitable discussion of how it just doesn’t make any sense. It all goes back to the neck pain and the, to be honest, ridiculousness of it all. THERE’S AN OPEN UNSUSED BENCH. CLAIM IT! Maybe I just like my space… or don’t like Batman, I don’t know. I am claustrophobic so that may have something to do with it, but is the rest of the world also frightened of enclosed spaces? Is that why they elect to sit across from one another rather than right on top? I think not.

I want to ask them. The same-side-sitters. Not to be rude or antagonistic, but just because I’m curious. Why, WHY must you sit together? You realize if you were on a boat, you would topple it. There’s something extremely unbalanced about your seat decisions and it drives me crazy. I wouldn’t verbally say all this as it would exist in my thought bubble alone, but I am curious to know the reason behind the bizarre seating choice. Does it boil down to intimacy? Are they secretly stealing silver wear and biscuits to be shoved in a bag between them? Maybe hiding a stain or a strange elephant arm? Is one deaf? I NEED TO KNOW.

For the two or three of you out there who read this, any thoughts? Are you a same-side-sitter? There will be no judgment, as I am merely curious to this awkward and super uncomfortable phenomenon. Any explanations/insight would be wonderful.

For the rest of you… what weirod’s, right?

2 thoughts on “Same-Side-Sitters

  1. Joleene Naylor says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    This is incredibly amusing because hubby and I were just making fun of this not two weeks ago at that Italian place (whose name I have forgotten) that has all the free bread sticks. I can happily say I never dated anyone who did this, hubby included, and you;re right – it looks weird, and leaves no elbow room. It;s bad enough when we’re with other people and have to share.

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