Illustration: Jim Cooke (GMG)

Don’t let it be you.

That’s probably all that needs to be said, but in case you’re reading this out loud at a bar or restaurant and your companions missed it because it’s so loud in there, here it is again: IT ONLY TAKES ONE PERSON TO RAISE THE VOLUME IN A RESTAURANT.

How did it get to be so loud in there? It started with one person who was almost certainly describing in great detail something like how he’s never been inside a WeWork, a conversation so boring that the idea that one would care to make sure everyone at the table heard it—even Craig, at the head of the table—is absurd to me, but that is what people talk about these days, and I don’t make the rules. “I’ve never been inside a WeWork, but they seem cool,” booms Stephen, a man as loud as he is banal.

“What? You haven’t?” shouts Craig.

And so it begins. One table over sit Levi and “Grubman.” (Grubman is his last name. He’s one of those guys that goes by his last name and somehow, without saying anything at all, makes you feel kind of weird if you call him Michael.) They’re talking about how they’ve noticed that their iPhone batteries don’t last that long ever since they upgraded to the new system. Because Craig is shouting, Grubman has to sort of yell this at Levi.

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Because of Levi and Grubman, Lana, Molly, and Austyn, who are sitting at the bar and just ordered wings (“wine not?!”), have to talk a little louder about how Lana has recently begun describing herself as into both men and women on Tinder. Not necessarily private information, but not the kind of thing you want to yell, and when the conversation turns to how Molly is “essentially freaking out” about whether she has been “officially diagnosed with eczema” or not, the volume required to overcome the WeWork thing and the phone thing is wrong for the subject.

Before you know it, everyone is shouting and no one is happy.

Let’s return to Craig for a minute. When he expressed his shock—shock—that Stephen had never been inside a WeWork, the volume in the entire restaurant spiked, Grubman had to say his dumb thing about his phone, and Molly her dumb thing about her eczema, and now it’s not going to go down until the place closes. This is going to become particularly impossible to bear when Becca joins Molly, Lana, and Austyn for “after-dinner drinks” and expresses confusion over Lana’s story about how Austyn, whom she doesn’t really know that well, is thinking about moving to Austin.

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The point here is don’t be Craig.