There’s just something romantic about a good Italian restaurant.

I learned this not long ago while I was out on the town in Portsmouth. As it happened, I was with a lady friend, hoping to dazzle and impress. Perhaps set the tone for an evening of passion.

That’s when a lady named “fate” intervened in the form of a chance encounter with a former lover. Luckily, I was doing just fine. Got a good job and a good office, some may even say a new life.

Even though we’d long ago lost touch, she was impossible to miss. Granted, her appearance had changed somewhat, possibly due to many long walks along the New Hampshire Seacoast's many walkable beaches.

Of course, we were dressed a little differently this time around. Gone were the leather jackets and tight blue jeans of our youth. We laughed about some friends whose engagement we once mocked, but whose sturdy relationship we would come to admire.

Yes, their carpet was tacky and their Sears-bought portraits had aged poorly since being purchased at the old mall in Newington. Still, we wished that was us (sidenote: the couple would eventually divorce. Amicably).

It soon became bittersweet. Here we both were, face-to-face, but with different partners. And yet, the chemistry remained. The moment, however, would not.

And so, we sweetly – but sadly – parted ways. Again, we were nothing but strangers in a sea full of romantics. And once more, she was out of my life. Perhaps forever.

I know what you’re thinking. “Why didn’t you look her up on social media?”

Because, as it turns out, this wasn’t something that happened to me.

I was actually thinking of the very famous Billy Joel song “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant," of which there are many right here in New Hampshire for you to enjoy a bottle of red (or a bottle of white).

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