“I know what I bring to the table, so trust me when I tell you, I’m not afraid to eat alone.”
First of all, I love this quote. And for reasons I won’t go into today, I’m really feeling it. Let’s just say that it’s a constant struggle to be on the outside, know you’re doing your thing, and hoping it will pay off in the end.
So, I eat by myself.
Probably more than most people. Like, at least once a week.
And you want to know something?
I kind of love it.
I like leaving the house whenever I feel like it. I like choosing whatever venue I feel like trying. No matter the venue, I like the sheer luxury of it. I’ll tell you what I do not like. Somehow, in Dubai (as an example), there seems to be a trend of not understanding the concept of a solo diner. There is just not a place in people’s minds or heads to get over someone dining by themselves (there are of course, exceptions to this). By and large, service staff does not know how to handle me. Where to seat me. Or how to engage with me.
Let me assure you, service members of this country, I am perfectly fine to dine alone. I have a smartphone, a Kindle, and a camera. I have more than enough to entertain myself for hours. What I need from you is (time permitting), perhaps a bit of engagement. A small amount of chat… and that’s all. If you feel inclined to ask why I am moving things around the table to take photos, that is up to you. I don’t expect anything from you. You are not necessary for my entertainment, but also, please do not completely ignore me either.
Having traveled on my own for many years, I literally think nothing of making plans to take myself out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Furthermore, I can’t expect friends (most of whom are working) to drop everything and go out to eat whenever I feel like it.
Certainly, I love a communal meal, but I am also completely okay in the company of myself. I like the quiet of it. I enjoy eating at my own pace — sipping on a glass of wine or people watching. I can catch up on some of my social media, or, engage in a conversation with a friend somewhere else in the world. I can read a book or simply enjoy my meal.
So, dear friends of the service industry, I implore you — just let me be me. Give me a seat with some decent lighting and resist the urge for any commentary of ‘just one.’
Have you taken yourself out to eat recently?