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Why do I feel shy about eating alone in a restaurant? I mean, do I feel ashamed if I walk to work alone? Or if I work out alone? What is it about eating that makes me think it has to be a communal activity, and if you’re eating alone, it must mean you have no friends?
I ran out of food at home and was going to meet a friend for coffee in the afternoon anyways, so I figured I’d grab some food outside. With no Subway in sight, I panicked and almost went into a yuppie organic sandwich shop simply because it had solo high chairs staring out into the street. But reason got the better of me and I decided to conquer this fear once and for all.
The only other times I’ve eaten alone in a restaurant were when I travelled. I often ate at restaurants in developing countries to save the potential intestinal agony of eating off the streets. But that’s ok, because during my travels, I clearly look like a traveler with my black hair, ripped clothes, intentionally battered-looking SLR, and Lonely Planet.
But this time was different. I was dressed… normally. Being Asian in Vancouver is like being Asian in… Asia. I didn’t stand out at all. But when the waitress asked if it was, “for one?” I proudly said yes. Why not. I’m going to pay for this meal and I’m going to enjoy my solitude.
Fine, I pulled out my Kobo and started reading. And fine, I felt better seeing other people who were eating alone at tables of two. It was at least an incremental step for me. I’ll do what I want, and I don’t care what others think. Better yet, I should know that others probably don’t even care about whether you eat alone or not, and those who do are not worthy of attention from anyways.
Do you do this too? Let me know your thoughts. Maybe over a meal :)