Table for One, Please…

I don’t think I had ever gone into a restaurant by myself for lunch or dinner……until yesterday!   Years ago I used to have to travel sometimes for work….if I was by myself I don’t ever remember going to a restaurant for breakfast.    I’d just order room service…..it wasn’t because I didn’t want to go by myself….I don’t really think I thought too much about that then…..it gave me more time to get ready if I didn’t have to go down and have breakfast.   I know I never went for dinner on my own….there was usually always someone to go with.

I’m really bad for not eating breakfast on the weekends.   Through the week, at work, I’m pretty good….I usually take yogurt and grab a muffin or toast but come the weekend, I just have my coffee……maybe once in a while I’ll have a bowl of cereal or something but not too often.

Yesterday morning I had a bunch of stuff to do and was out and about around 9:30.   It was close to noon by the time I finished.   I was starting to feel a bit hungry and I still had to go and pick up some groceries ….definitely not a good thing to be hungry when doing that!!   I thought I should probably eat something….I did consider going through a drive thru and just parking and eating in the car, but it was pretty warm yesterday and I didn’t really want to do that.

There’s a nice restaurant across from the bank so I thought, what the heck….it’ll be another first.   As I was walking over I began thinking about what I’d do while I was waiting for my lunch to be served….I could read one of the newspapers they usually have in restaurants….but what if there weren’t any papers?   What would I do then?    Just sit there and look around??   And then what would I do, besides eat, when my food came???   That didn’t sound too exciting!   There’s a bookstore right there too, so I went in and bought a magazine to take to lunch!   I was ready!   When asked “how many”, I would say “just me, thanks”…..

All this drama going on in my head turned out to be rather anticlimactic because I didn’t end up going to the restaurant!    I did get to the door but it just didn’t feel right…..  I decided on the little café next door instead.    At this café, you go in and order your food from the counter, then seat yourself!!   It was really nice out so I decided to sit on the patio.   I was still alone of course, but it just seemed a lot more casual…or a place where there would be others sitting by themselves.   I got my magazine out and started eating and reading….I was just really flipping the pages…and looking around at everyone else sitting on the patio.   Then I started listening to bits and pieces of conversations….I don’t think I’d ever really paid attention to others and their conversations in restaurants before because, well…..I ‘d never had to,   I’d always had someone to talk too! 

The young couple beside me seemed to be on a date…..maybe a blind date or maybe they’d met on the internet or something….it sounded like first date chat…… “Where did you go to school?”  “What did you major in at university?”  ”Where do you work?”

There were two men at the table behind me….obviously they were real estate salesmen…..one of them had a client that was putting an offer in on a house the other had for sale…..the offer was too low….”insulting really and won’t fly” according to him.  They were discussing “comparables” in the area….

An older couple were just having coffee and getting ready to go grocery shopping…she was hoping this and that was on sale and why didn’t he bring the flyer off the table with them….he was sure there would be one in the store that she could look at.

I also wasn’t the only one all by myself….there were a couple of other people.   They were reading the papers or playing/texting on their phones while they ate.   I had my phone but hadn’t really thought about using it…..I could have played a game or something too, I guess. 

It was really quite interesting….but I can’t say that I enjoyed it very much.   I don’t think it’s something I’d want to do too often unless I had too.    I know lots of people, regardless of why they’re alone, do this every day.    My daughter does it all the time…..she thinks nothing of it……doesn’t even hesitate to go where she wants……but she’s used to doing it, I’m not! 

When I did pick up my groceries, I made sure I had some of MY cereal in the cart!   Next weekend I just have to make sure that I do eat breakfast BEFORE I go out…..but then again maybe trying the restaurant thing on my own isn’t a bad idea….we’ll see!

L.

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2 thoughts on “Table for One, Please…

  1. Before I met Gerry, being a single gal, I would often travel by myself. It always seemed that I was more open to chatting with strangers and, like you, listening to conversations around me. It’s amazing what you can find out by just sticking your ear out there!

    • When we traveled we’d, or mostly me, would chat with people in restaurants or by the pool or wherever..I love doing that. You meet so many interesting people. I wonder why that’s easier to do when you’re traveling as opposed to sitting in a local restaurant or cafe?

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