The Alpha/Beta Decoder

He says tomato; she owns Heinz. Herewith, your cheat sheet for spotting this millennium's oddest bedfellows.

Alpha: Begins every sentence with, "I'm crazy-busy right now..."

Beta: Begins every sentence with, "Let me check with my better half..."

Alpha: On a first-name basis with the maître d'.

Beta: On a first-name basis with the food-delivery guy.

Alpha: Dines with BlackBerry Pearl to the left of her water glass.

Beta: Dines with hoodie slung over the back of his chair.

Alpha: Sends back the wine.

Beta: Lets her taste the wine.

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Alpha: Checks the stock ticker between courses.

Beta: Checks the game score between courses.

Alpha: Multitasking moment: Browses — and reads op-ed page — while waiting for her salad.

Beta: Multitasking moment: Pockets matches — and toothpicks — en route to the bathroom.

Alpha: Dictates notes to her assistant during dessert.

Beta: Doodles on his napkin during dessert.

Alpha: Orders the filet mignon — rare.

Beta: Orders whichever dessert she wants "a bite" of.

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Alpha: Has a support staff of six.

Beta: Has an entourage of six — the dogs he walks for extra scratch.

Alpha: Card-carrying member of the Junior League.

Beta: Card-carrying member of the Sierra Club.

Alpha: Has a Town Car outside.

Beta: Has a 10-speed outside.

Alpha: Has Ron Burkle on speed-dial.

Beta: Has her dry cleaner on speed-dial.

Alpha: Donates to charity.

Beta: Is a charity.

Alpha: Picks the vacation.

Beta: Makes the reservations.

Alpha: Chose her own engagement ring.

Beta: Was told there'd be a prenup.

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