I’d like to test your moral intuitions. Perhaps you might recall my dearest Caroline, perhaps you might recall the regularity of my Monday visits to her place of employment, perhaps you might be wondering if she remembered me this week with a week away separating me from her memory. Perhaps you might wonder if I saw her at all, or if the other girl was again working my regular section in Caroline’s stead. Wonder no more. The inexorable wheel of Fortuna spins on, and Caroline has been relegated to working a more populous and pleasant section of the restaurant than the loud and smoky bar area that I have made my resting place. I have made it my public and regular habit to sit at a two-chair table on the North-East end of the bar, but she is now working the South-West end. The past few visits I have caught a few fortuitous glimpses of her shining smile as I sat reading at my table, but my server has been Margaret (who, I should say, is also quite lovely, very friendly, and good about not pestering me too much while I read).

Thus, the ethical dilemma: is it morally permissible to request that I be seated in Caroline’s section, rather than taking my regular table in the seat-yourself bar area? In doing so, I would be overtly breaking an easy and established habit, declaring through my actions that it is Caroline that draws me to the Brewery, and not the horrendously un-vegetarian menu. I would be proclaiming my admiration for a barmaid who would be perfectly happy not to have her patrons doting on her. I would be diverting my funds from the deserving pockets of Margaret’s apron to those of Caroline simply because she was the victor in a capricious comparative judgment of beauty. Am I morally reprehensible for having such thoughts? Would I be blameworthy for making the switch?

NP: Hilary Duff, Anywhere But Here