Matt D
Topic Author
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

Single Or Couples?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 9:29 am

This thought came to me this afternoon while I was dining alone in my local North Woods Inn (a small chain of very fine food here in SoCal. Expect to spend anywhere from $20-$40 per person per meal and drinks) this afternoon. This restaraunt is known for its top notch food and service.

When I walked in, and was asked "how many?", and I replied that it was only myself, I was given a strange look (this happens anytime I east out solo at any place other than In-N-Out).
The hostess seated me at a tiny, postage stamp sized table in the corner facing a wall that had a 19th century painting of a semi-nude woman hanging on it.
It was a good 5 or 10 minutes before my server came along and asked me what I wanted.
After she took my order, it was another 5 or 10 minutes before I got my drink.
Then, when it ran dry and I asked her for a refill, again, it was several minutes before she came back.
Finally, when she brought my food out, she did not set it down in front of me on the table like most food servers do.
She stood next to me, holding the plate in front of me and told me to take it!!!!!!!!
Granted the table was small, but there is no reason why she couldn't have served me like they normally do.
It wasn't until I was almost finished (and out of Coke again) that she made her follow up visit. She was just in time for me to ask for my check-which when she brought it-10 minutes later-I walked up to the cashier and paid the bill myself as opposed to directly to her.
I walked out and no gratuity was left.
For a fine dining establishment such as North Woods, that kind of service-or rather the lack of it-was not deserving of any kind of tip as far as I am concerned.
As I drove home, I wondered why I got such dismal service. I have never gotten bad service from them before. I was polite, and spoke very few words other than what I wanted. I sat patiently at my table, and I figured I was being a good customer.

Then it dawned on me:
That place was pretty busy. It was filled with families and couples.
I was the only person in there eating alone. And the last several times I've eaten there, I've had other people with me.
The place was busy-but not THAT busy. They have a proportionately high staff for the size of the place, which is conducive to the good service they are known for.
I was looking around me, and everyone else was being waited on just like I was hoping to be. No one else appeared to be neglected.

So my question to you is:

Did I get crappy service because A) I'm a single guy in a sea of couples and families and seen as an "oddball" or "hermit" that really doesn't deserve good service? Or B) A couple or family is likely to leave a larger tip, or C) both?

This takes us back to the meaning behind the title of this post.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of being single versus being a part of a couple? Why do you feel the way you do?

Here are the advantages IMO to being single:

You can come and go as you please.

Travel without the burden of taking other people with you

No need to worry about anyone paging you or asking where you are going

You can buy a 2 seat sports car and not worry about a car seat

Not having to support a wife/husband/child are an enormous cost savings

You don't have to make your bed or wash the dishes if you dont want to.....

Disadvantages to being single:

Valentines Day, your birthday, and Christmas tend to be pretty lonely and depressing when you are single

You get bad service in restaraunts

Sometimes certain "needs" go unmet for long periods of time...

And so on.

So what is your take on this?

Why are some people happiest when they are alone, while others (like the Japanese for example) cannot function normally unless there are anywhere from 1 to 1000 other people sharing their personal space?


RE: Single Or Couples?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 10:03 am

I have always had good service, maybe it is because I am happy, kind and always have a smile on my face.  Smile
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 2:54 am

RE: Single Or Couples?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 10:31 am


What happened to that girlfriend of yours?

Anyway, I believe it's true that people who walk into a service establishment tend to get neglected by the employees. I think the larger the number of the party they're serving, the more they feel pressured to make an impression upon everyone in that party. This is to garner more tips. Thus, answer "B."

But in that situation you just described, the waitress probably saw you reading your issue of "The National Review." Gee, I hope you examined your food to make sure she didn't spit in it, Matt. From what I hear, most hard-working wait staff despise certain patrons who are flamboyant with a certain political party affiliation. And if you had an issue of "The National Review" with you at the table, she probably figured out what you were.

Gosh. That's too bad.

Your buddy,
The 7
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 2:54 am

RE: Single Or Couples?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 10:45 am

Oh, I neglected to mention something about your experience, Matt:

I was always taught that if you choose to NOT leave a tip, you should educate the wait person as to *why* you aren't leaving the tip. This way, he/she won't just brush you off as a lousy cheapskate and then spread horrible rumors about you to their co-workers.

And no, I'm not trying to insinuate that you're tacky or anything.

(Someone else might, but I wouldn't.) Actually, EVERYONE would. But I still wouldn't. Even your parents may think you're tacky, but I wouldn't. No, I wouldn't accuse you of being tacky. You just merely sprinted out on that waitress without tipping and without letting her know why, thus giving her no clue as to how much class you *really* have.

Nope, I'd never insinuate that you're tacky.


I promise.

You can count on me.

I'll never say you're tacky.

The 7

Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 1999 12:01 pm

RE: Single Or Couples?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 10:55 am

I think it may have been a combination of both. Talk to the manager. Over my life I've learned if you complain, you get free stuff.

Both be single and being with someone have advantages. The best part about being single is not having to worry about anybody else. But like you said, holidays can be very lonely.

I personally would rather have a girlfriend. The companionship is nice, and girlfriends don't always need to know where you are for most of the time.
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:59 pm

Matt D

Sun Feb 11, 2001 11:19 am

Heya Matt, That Sucks dude. I've had similiar problems like that. I would of done the same thing you did.

Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Single Or Couples?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 11:41 am

Hey Matt D
The North Woods Inn is a great restaurant!  Big thumbs up
I used to go there to the one on Rosemead Bl. in San Gabrial when I lived in Pasadena.

If I were you, I wouldn't read in to it to much. Some people just don't know how to leave there emotions at home or how to deal with people.
I think the area you live in has a lot to do with it. I hated living in that area because it is so family oriented. If you are single in your 20s, it's pretty depressing. You have to be married with a family to enjoy that part of the greater La area.

I get great service up here in San Francisco wheather I am by myself or with one of my ladies. Big grin
Bring back the Concorde
Posts: 3961
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Single Or Couples?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 11:56 am

I make sure i always have someone with me...90% of the time a female when i go to a restaurant. I guess its that insecurity thing...I don't go to the movies by myself, i dont go to nice restaurants by myself. I am a rather social person though. I am basically always single though...which sucks. My frequency of having dates has gone up quite a bit though which is nice.
Chicks dig winglets.
Posts: 810
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 10:55 am

RE: Single Or Couples?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 12:42 pm

Great topic....

Being single is most people's eyes. I'm almost 40 and I'm not even looking for a relationship....I think the older you get the more set in your ways you are....and that makes it even less likely you'll feel the need to share your life with someone.

I agree with all the positive points of being single.

As for the negatives: only a problem if you let it be, I work with kids in my spare time and a have friends through church stuff. Even with all the things I do, though, I do get bored is a great way to kill time. Bad Service in resturants.....I agree with this being a problem....I just don't go back to places that treat me wrong. Certain needs? Haven't you heard about how to solve that problem yet? he he.


RE: Single Or Couples?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 12:44 pm

Perhaps the waitress has read some of your posts on this forum?

BTW - Who needs to tip?

(Yes I know in the USA you need to...)

Posts: 835
Joined: Fri May 05, 2000 2:08 am

RE: Single Or Couples?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 12:53 pm

Valentine's day is coming up. The girl I had a crush on and was moving slowly towards came to college early and found a person who was just like me in every respect. Grr....  Pissed I'm just a friend now.

So I guess I'm single. I'm not angry any more. I'm simply waiting in the wings. I wish her new boyfriend no ill will.

Ya know what helps? Going out to do things for the community. Often very good sorts of people head out to the one that I do, which is called COVER and builds roofs for people who can't afford them. Unfortunately, most people my age are relentlessly self-centered. So I'm stuck in limbo with people who are cool but way too mature for me. The other people who are really cool are often too immature. Where are all of the girls?

Oh, wait, I go to Dartmouth College. Unfortunately there simply aren't enough to go around. And tonight is the Winter Ball and I'm sitting here posting.

Oh, well... today three of us built a wheelchair ramp in 20 degree F weather and discussed why the creation of knowledge is morally superior than the extraction of commodities.
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am


Sun Feb 11, 2001 1:08 pm

Oh I used to hate falling in the friend catagory!

Look at the bright side though.

To some girls, a guy friend is like a dick in a glass case.
They crack it open in case of an emergency! Big grin

Just stick around, the other guy will piss her off at some point!

She will cry to you at some point about him.
Thats when you show her what she's been missing out on.

Well, I just got a call from a lady friend. I am going tonight.
Talk to you tomorrow!  Smile
Bring back the Concorde

RE: Single Or Couples?

Sun Feb 11, 2001 1:10 pm

Well, I must admit I don't eat out very much at all, alone. I either have a family member, a GF, or the current BF. Your service does sound poor, and uncalled for.

With this "singles" thing... I am in a relationship, but guess what, I AM SINGLE. The only time I won't be single, is if I was married. BF or no BF, I am single. A *weddding ring* ( and I don't want one, thank you) means I am no longer single. Am I the only one who sees it this way? Nothing will ever persuade me to think anything different.

Am I the only one to see the word "single" in this way? Cos guys ask me am I single, and my answer is yes. Even though I have a BF.

Singleness ( as I have described, rocks!) Nothing like that freedom to come and go, and do as you please. I am my own person, I don't need to be joined at the hip with someone else.

I'm all for dating and socializing, but no-one gets to keep me, forever.


Sun Feb 11, 2001 6:22 pm

My wife will be out of town March 15-29th.
Can I fly down and spend some time with you?

Send me a picture of you to my e-mail in my profile.

I like your philosophy on relationships.


Mon Feb 12, 2001 10:21 am

Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: Single Or Couples?

Tue Feb 13, 2001 6:49 am

MattD, are you sure the waitress is not the same person you met during that Betty Boop Doll story of yours? (Topic: I felt so Smug)

Anyway: Something similar happened to me when I was dining out with my sister, the service was pretty damn close to open hostility (the restaurant in question being an Angus Steak House in London - one of the slightly pricy chains of restaurants) I suppose they don't like young people or single guests - which is unfair, or, maybe in your case, conservatives, for which I don't blame them.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Wink/being sarcastic
They DID serve elderly couples and families with much enthusiasm, though, which really pissed me off. (The most annoying thing: We wanted to go to the cinema afterwards, but as they were so painfully slow, we were far too late) Actually, I wouldn't have left a tip, had it not been automatically included in the bill (cheeky bastards!)

Anyway: While I feel treating me this way was completely undeserved, I cannot help but laugh at the idea that it happened to you. Who knows, maybe she (your waitress) is now posting a topic about the story on another internet forum, beaming with pride at her achievement of annoying (and humiliating) a lonely conservative......

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