While waiting for a friend at a local bistro a few nights ago I was fascinated by a woman sitting by herself, reading a book and enjoying a wonderful meal and a glass of wine. She looked like someone that I wanted to know – confident & interesting…and I admired her courage in going out to enjoy a meal on her own.
I spend a lot of time in my own company, and I have absolutely no problem travelling on my own, going to movies/galleries/theatre on my own, even going out for lunch on my own but I have one final stumbling block – the solo dinner in my own city. I will happily eat alone when I am travelling – spent two months in Joburg dining solo at the same cafe nearly every night because my guesthouse didn’t provide dinner – but I really hesitate at doing this in my own city. Perhaps this is because I associate dining out with catching up with friends?
There was a recent radio show on CBC (Canadian version of BBC or NPR) about spending time alone and one listener called in to say that when he sees a woman dining alone, he wonders if she’s been stood up. That hadn’t even occurred to me although I do remember sitting in a restaurant in NYC years ago watching a poor man beside us wait and wait and wait…with much avid speculation on our part.
Maybe I worry that someone I know will see me dining alone & will wonder why I don’t have friends to dine with? But you know what…I’m getting too old to worry about that stuff.
“They” say to try something new & brave every day and I feel this is my challenge – before the end of 2013, I will go out to a wonderful local restaurant solo…now I just expect all of you to hold me to it!