The first table is merely a suggestion.

The fact that I cannot walk into a restaurant full of empty tables and simply choose the table that I want baffles me. I understand that when the joint is jumping and customers are waiting, you will be assigned to a table of the hostess’s choice. But on a Tuesday night at 6:00, I should be able to walk in, scan the restaurant, and say, "I’ll take that booth over there” rather than hoping for my desired table. Am I wrong?

Thankfully, I am married to a woman who operates under this assumption every day. Elysha considers a hostess’s offer of a table as a mere suggestion, the first in what will likely be an upgraded location. She has no qualms about requesting a new table and does so with a kindness and grace that never fails to charm the restaurant employee.

Recently I was out with friends, six of us all together, and a hostess stuffed us all into a booth when a perfectly good rounded corner booth with extra room was available. Using Elysha’s methods, I quickly had us moved to a more comfortable spot, much to the amazement of my friends, some who had clearly been accepting table assignments like sheep for most of their lives.

But I still would like to be able to walk into a restaurant, point to a table, and say, “That one. I don't give a damn if it seats eight. I’ll be able to watch the Yankees game while pretending to hang on my wife’s every word.”