A friend of mine and I decide to go to a local restaurant. It’s a weekend night and there’s a wait. We leave his name at the door, walk around the corner of the building, and pull ourselves up to sit on a long table that’s been set outside the employee exit. On our way to the side we pass the outdoor area. The patio has been closed off with zippered plastic to provide privacy for the wedding party that has rented the space. I gaze in wistfully at the simple affair.
In time his name is called and we head back in to the restaurant and follow the server to our seats. She places our menus down beside a long, wide window that opens up directly to the outdoor area, to the wedding party still in full swing.
The window is wider than our table and stretches up to the ceiling. Recognizing that it’s rude to look in, I can’t help myself from stealing glances toward the wedding party when I think no one will notice.
Then, just as our drinks have arrived, the bride and groom rise and cross to the table with the cake, positioned directly on the other side of the giant window beside which we sit.
The bride’s eyes meet my own and she looks embarrassed for us. Not only will Michael and I have a better view of the cake cutting than any of the wedding guests, we will be immortalized together in the background of all of their photos.
“Quick,” I say to Michael, “look like you love me,” and on cue he leans in across the table and smiles as half a dozen cameras begin to flash.