Swap Seats

Our table was in the middle of a large, half-round section of the restaurant. Facing the seven slim but high windows surrounding us for most of our two and a half–hour dinner, I was stunned by the amount of people rolling in and out of the restaurant on a regular basis. All in all, the venue wasn’t that big, yet the window reflections kept revealing groups of six, seven, eight people walk past behind me.

Towards the end of the dinner, my girlfriend asked to swap seats, and, once placed on the bench facing the restaurant rather than the chair facing the wall, the truth hit me: There were no large groups swarming the place. What I had seen were simply mirror images of the same few people, repeated several times across the many windows. Most tables only sat two to four people, and two waiters took care of our entire section.

What’s more, beyond getting an overview of all the guests rather than just the two tables right next to us, I could also see my girlfriend in much brighter lighting. I had a chance to appreciate the design of the stylish lamps hanging from the ceiling, the bar set up in the middle of the room, and the candles placed in glass lanterns all around the restaurant. In short, once I changed my perspective, my whole world flipped upside down — and even though it was the tiny world of a single fancy dinner, that made all the difference.

The human mind is one of the easiest to fool, so when something feels off, swap seats. You may or may not be rewarded with the truth, but you’re guaranteed to discover something new — and when your heart is filled with wonder, your head won’t mind having to admit that it was wrong.