The (Empty) Seat

Men are weird, and they do weird things. Like (for example) peeing in front of each other… that is so weird. I don’t understand how men can stand next to each other and release fluid from their bodies.

(I have had nightmares about going into a toilet stall and finding there is no door, and having to go about my business in front of other women. I am of the opinion that urination should be private.)

But weirder than peeing in front of each other (which is super weird) is the “empty seat”… when two (or more) guys go to a movie or a bar, and rather than sit right next to each other (which is normal), they leave an empty seat between them.


I have a few theories:

  1. Men are worried that if their legs touch, they will feel a spark of electricity never felt with their wife or girlfriend.
  2. Men need a place to put their coat and/or personal effects.
  3. Men have no control over their arm/elbow movements and want to prevent an injury.
  4. (Both) men are interested in having a ménage et trois, and the empty seat is an invitation for any available ladies.
  5. Men believe that they are at a seder dinner and they are saving a seat for the prophet Eliyahu.
  6. Men don’t want people thinking they are “with” the other guy.

The husband and I were at a sketchy little pub in Sherman Oaks a few weekends ago. Two sketchy looking dudes came in and sat at the bar, leaving an empty stool between them. They each ordered a drink and stared straight ahead. The men did not speak. I started wondering if the two dudes (of similar age and disposition) actually knew each other, or just happened to enter the pub at the same time.

Then I saw it.

One of the sketchy dudes turned his body, and put his feet on the rung of the empty stool, his body language suggesting… they were friends. (Because as everyone* knows, you don’t just put your foot on the rung of a stool next to some guy, unless you know the guy.)

After consuming one drink, the sketchy dudes nodded at each other, and then exited the sketchy little pub together-ish (one sketchy dude trailing after the other).

I turned to my husband and said, “Number 1″. He nodded.

They had left an empty stool between them… but it may as well have been an ocean.


*most people


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