Sitting Alone in Public

Back when I had braces, one of my favorite things was after an orthodontist visit, I would go to Friendly’s with my mom or dad (as a chubby kid, all of my favorite things involved red meat, french fries, and not being in school. Kids are mean!).

Apparently, though, Friendly’s is a real hot bed for lonely senior citizens. Every time I went there, there was some old man or woman sitting alone eating, and I would torture myself by making up some sort of scenario where their spouse had died or they never married because their one true love died in the icy Atlantic Ocean as the Titanic sunk beneath them (remember, this was the late 90’s. Having a lover die in a ship wreck ‘Caprio-style was the height of romance).  Heart breaking.

While old people sitting alone drinking a fribble is tragic, it’s not so for the young. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how they would feel too weird eating at a restaurant or going to a movie alone.

I feel like people who are afraid of sitting alone think that people around them will think they’re a loser, but that’s not the case. The other day I was sitting at a bar in a restaurant with my dad and this woman -probably in her late 20’s- was sitting alone at the bar. First of all, she was pounding back sushi like a champ. I’ve never seen anything like it- very admirable. She was drinking wine and doing work on her lap top, and I never thought she was a loser. I thought she was my bad ass lady hero.

I don’t think anyone should feel uncomfortable about sitting alone, as long as you don’t eat at an Applebees. Or an Outback Steakhouse. That does actually look sad. But sitting at the bar at a swanky restaurant or at a cafe and you’re all sorts of Carrie Bradshaw

… I promise I’m going to stop with the Sex and the City references. That was it. That was the last one.

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18 thoughts on “Sitting Alone in Public

  1. Hey!

    lol I’m actually one of those people who used to think anyone dining by themselves must be a loser… well I guess you’re right… it’s not all that bad 😉

    • lol it really isn’t! Everyone is too busy thinking about themselves to think about you…unless you’re old and sad looking, in which case I’m mourning over your dead spouse whether or not that’s actually your story.

  2. I completely agree with this! Being in my twenties I’m still getting used to venturing out and having enough confidence to eat in a sit-down restaurant alone or go to the movies. While I’m not single, there are still plenty of times when I find myself with alone time. The first time I saw a move alone I LOVED it. No one I had to share my popcorn with, and movies are dark and quiet anyways so I didn’t feel like I was out of place at all. PS–love the Sex and the City reference

  3. I don’t think that anyone should feel uncomfortable eating alone. Lots of people worry about looking like a freak if they’re alone, but I think it’s closer to the opposite. Always needing others with you (more or less for moral support) shows a serious lack of confidence and self esteem. That is much more likely to reflect badly on you than if you were to eat alone once in a while, don’t you think? Besides, eating alone gives you time to reflect on your own thoughts, something that everyone needs to do occasionally. It’s also a great people-watching opportunity!

  4. “I don’t think anyone should feel uncomfortable about sitting alone, as long as you don’t eat at an Applebees. Or an Outback Steakhouse. That does actually look sad. But sitting at the bar at a swanky restaurant or at a cafe and you’re all sorts of Carrie Bradshaw”

    I agree! I go eat by myself at little cafes sometimes and just bring a book, but I would definitely feel weird hitting up TGI Fridays solo!

  5. I always wish I had the guts to do things like that alone. I think I ate alone once in a chain restaurant while reading a book and I felt so utterly awkward, I was eating fast to get it over with.
    I know people that dine out alone all the time , go to movies alone and things like that; not me.
    The only thing I love to do alone is go shopping.

    • I love shopping alone- you get stuff DONE. I think you should just try a cafe or something… chain restaurants are for the truly lonely or very experienced solo eaters (both of which are probably sad… you don’t want to eat alone all the time!)

  6. I’m glad you wrote about this because it is an often-occurring conflict for lots of people. The truth is, nobody cares about how other people look because they’re so worried about what people think about how they look. It’s a vicious circle.
    I wasn’t able to eat alone for a long time but now that I’m getting a little older, I’m getting really comfortable with it. In fact, I prefer it sometimes. It’s more relaxing since I don’t have to make conversation, and I can focus on the food. And now I know there’s also a chance someone like you will think I’m a bad ass lady hero 😉

  7. The first time I went to a movie alone I had an argument with baby but I decided to go to the movies anyway. It kicked arse. There wasn’t anyone to talk to doing the previews call me weird but previews are my fave. Baby thinks the movie hasn’t official started so the gob is moving away. Eating alone is cool to I find that I eat less. Go fig.

    • Okay, I totally believe that about eating less- I read somewhere that you eat like 300 more calories in a meal or something when you eat with friends because you are distracted and because you try and keep up with each other in terms of how much you consume.

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