I did something today that I have never done. I walked into a restaurant and asked for a table for one. I don’t usually like doing anything alone and have never eaten by myself before. I sat in my car the moments leading up to this moment and had to talk myself into going in there. I need to be happy being by myself. So I took a deep breath and went inside.
It was lunch time and not busy at all. The hostess didn’t even bat an eye or ask me if I was sure or look at me like I am some kind of poor friendless reject that can’t find someone to eat lunch with. She smiled and said “right this way”. I followed her and sat down. I immediately picked up the menu found what I wanted to order and threw my nose into my phone. Facebook my old friend… In today’s time one is never completely alone. This was not the point. So I put it away. The waiter came made small talk and I ordered. Drinks came and I sat people watching, eavesdropping, noticing the world around me. Interesting how many people are sitting next to someone and have their nose’s in their phones. Not talking, not being alone and yet alone in their own world. I wonder who they are.
She puts her phone down and looks at him. They are a young couple and its obvious that they have been together a while. He knows that she wants sweet tea, and she knows that he wants her lemon in his water. They do these things without discussion, they just know. They have a routine and this is not their first time here. They order without looking at the menu and when she forgot to add guacamole, he added it for her. A script performed a million times. Now they are alone again and she has put her phone down and looks at him. She is waiting for him to notice her. I can see it in her eyes that she wants to say something. ( I am now full on creeper sitting in the next booth.) I try to read her face. Is it sad, angry, or something else? It’s not happy. She inhales and gets back on her phone. He starts laughing hard and shows her a picture on his phone excitedly and she laughs loudly too. Their silence is broken and they are looking at each other. She asks about a friend of theirs and he puts his phone down and the conversation starts. Easy conversation filled with people they know, things to do, and a life I will never know.
By this time all of our food has come and gone. The plates have been picked up and checks have been paid. She paid for there’s, its her payday and they are taking a break from paying bills and about to grocery shopping. (them both being that full, I doubt they will get much) As they get up, he holds out his hand and helps her up revealing a baby bump. He gently rubs her belly and kisses her cheek. She smiles, but that look is still on her face. I am a total weirdo at this point, and they leave. Odds are I will never see this couple again in my life, and they have no idea I was listening in. But I was a fly on the wall and enjoyed their company on the first time I ate dinner by myself.
Perhaps the fact that I spent the entire time listening to a couple talk negates the sitting by myself, but I realized that my biggest fear wasn’t being alone, but what others would think of me being alone. I realized that no one cares. No one noticed me and the world could care less if I ate by myself. The food was good and I took my time eating at my slow pace. It’s not as enjoyable as sharing a meal and conversation with someone, but it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. Next will be a movie by myself.