It’s funny but I don’t mind is occasionally eating alone in a restaurant. (I would probably do this even if I wasn’t single.) Admittedly, I only dine solo for breakfast or lunch (usually because the restaurant tends to be less crowded) but I have never been embarrassed about asking for a table for one.
Eating alone doesn’t have to be boring. There is always something to keep me busy including the perpetual book in my purse which is perfect for that solo breakfast/lunch. There’s also cleaning out my e-mail inbox and people watching if I so desire. (Did I mention I also love those places where you can color on the butcher paper table covering?)
Some friends of mine (single and otherwise) are horrified by this concept. One in particular blurted out that she didn’t want to appear “pathetic.” Her comment had never occurred to me: that someone eating out alone would be seen as pitiable. And it set me to thinking about how being single is perceived in general.
Isn’t “pathetic” how we’re conditioned to see singletons in general? No one ever tells you that you’re good just as you are as a singleton. Alone, unattached and therefore seen to be lacking in some way. It’s the reason why everyone is always trying to set us up or assure us that “the one” is just around the corner.
Maybe there is a certain level of self-confidence and self-contentment required to eat at a restaurant alone. And maybe the same goes for living a full and happy singleton existence no matter how long you may find yourself in that state.
What I do know is that both as a singleton and occasional “lone diner” it’s important to savor every moment. Whether it’s some good, strong tea and a plate of pancakes or a blissfully quiet evening with your favorite film, just know that somewhere in the world there are some parents of young children who envy you. (I know because some told me the last time I sat alone at a diner over breakfast.)