Until you've gotten to that point in your relationship when you're comfortable late-nighting three-course meals in bed with your partner, eating together always feels like a first date.
You want to make a good impression, you don't want to do too much too fast, and you like to keep things clean.
When eating alone, however, there are no rules. You hold yourself to primordial standards and you aren't ashamed of it.
When you're on a date, you're on your best behavior. When you're alone... all bets are off. You are the classic embodiment of savage in the cradle, but lady at the table.
Here's how you eat on a date versus how you eat when you're alone:
Chopsticks, on a date:
You'll make it cute by having him show you how to use them properly, and then laugh about the sushi that just barely made it into your mouth. Relationship level: fairly comfortable
You already washed your hands in preparation for eating with your fingers. Bring on the spicy mayo soy sauce dipping concoction.
Pacing, on a date:
You eat like you have more time than OJ awaiting trial. And let's be real here: You had a snack beforehand as built-in pace control.
Two-minute meals, alone:
There is no such thing as pace. We don't even know what that word means when it's not applied to racing -- which is exactly what we do with our food.
Garlic and onions, on a date:
That's not in your repertoire for this evening. You're not even so much as side-eyeing that pesto sauce tempting you from its garlicky, basil-in-the-teeth corner.
Garlic and onions to the face, alone:
It's going to be a blood bad breath bath. Get ready to say ahhhhh.
Knife and fork, on a date:
You are so proper you even use them to eat french fries and pizza.
Using your hands, alone:
They are the superior utensils. Better for shoveling food absentmindedly into your mouth while your eyes are glued to "Scandal" reruns.
Ordering, on a date:
Requirements: doesn't get stuck in your teeth, won't give you bad breath, doesn't make you look gross while eating it, won't drip on your chin, doesn't make you want to sh*t your pants, won't tempt you to use your hands, and isn't something your dog would enjoy. That leaves... soup?
Requirements: no fewer than three courses, preferably fried, anticipation for drunk leftovers and absolutely no sharing. Bring on the $40 Seamless receipt!
Alcohol, on a date:
All you're eating on this date is vodka. Let's be real here.
There's actually no difference. Except when you're alone, you don't even bother with a glass.
Mexican, on a date:
You stick to what you know won't hurt you: chips, guac, margaritas. Tread lightly.
You are actually aiming to give yourself a stomach ache. There's no better "me" time than sitting on the toilet.
Kobe beef, on a date:
Nothing is off limits when he's paying for it.
Roast beef, alone:
You take what you can afford. And you'll like it.
Napkin, on a date:
Indeed, you are. And when the napkin isn't being used on your face, it will sit neatly in your lap.
Paper towels, alone:
Napkins will do sh*t against wing night.
Dessert, on a date:
You're in it to split it... and then take only two bites.
And that's how it's done.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It