Edward Hopper painted “Tables for Ladies” in 1930 and it showed a sad little restaurant with a sad cashier and a sadder looking waitress. Actually, like in many other Hopper’s painting, everything is sad there. The waitress leans forward to adjust the vividly painted foods at the window as a couple sits quietly in the richly paneled and well-lit interior. A cashier attentively tends to business at her register.
But there is something more than pure sadness into this story. In 1930’s a restaurant with a sign that said “tables for ladies” welcomed single women diners who were finding their new found independence. Up until that point in history, it was the assumption that any woman who was sitting alone in a restaurant was a prostitute.