The tone of the story is quite grave and serious, despite discussing the very passionate and fond feeling that is love. This is suggested through the concise descriptions Carver uses such as for Terri and Mel’s kiss: “He leaned across the table. Terri met him halfway. They kissed.” Despite both characters displaying an act of love and affection, the concise sentences filled with only descriptive language makes the moment seem quite grave. This tone is also kept throughout the story through Mel’s behavior. Moreover, the few occasions where Terri would try to ease the tension of the conversation by laughing or saying Mel was merely joking, he would disagree with her quite bluntly.
The tone is also non-ironic or satirical in any way, which I find fitting as the story is a depiction of a very honest and real conversation about love between a group of friends.