In my mid-twenties I took my girlfriend at the time to a restaurant on Valentine's Day.
The horror began with the heart-shaped balloons decorating the place. Then we were shown to our table; a small, square table in a long line of other small, square tables with barely a foot of space between them.
Had they brought in extra tables? I didn't remember there being so many when I ate there before.
I sat opposite my girlfriend. The man on my left sat opposite his. The guy on my right faced his partner too. And so on and so on, all along the line. Repeated across the restaurant in perpendicular formations.
It was awful. Awkward and impersonal. My girlfriend and I couldn't help overhearing what the couples beside us were talking about, and no doubt they could hear us.
I was almost tempted to pull the tables together and have a triple date.
Richard Pettitt, cartoonist.