Posts Tagged ‘alone’

I think I found the one thing I miss the most

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Last night my parents took E and Baby Evan and I out to dinner at our favorite small local place Chili’s. Go ahead, laugh at me for thinking it’s one of the best restaurants ever but you KNOW IT’S TRUE. Who doesn’t want a giant pile of fried onion straws and a huge burger and a white chocolate blondie with a giant margarita blackberry iced tea to wash it down after a long day of screaming, screechy, smacking baby watching?

Anyways, after the third or fourth time Baby Evan threw something on the floor I decided I needed a moment to myself and ran to hide in the bathroom. As I slunk past all the people having their dinners ruined by That Family who insist on bringing their child to dinner even though he keeps screaming like his hair is on fire aka US I noticed a lady sitting in one of the back booths. She was probably upper middle aged and kind of frumpy and what I would definitely call the stereotype of the crazy cat lady eating dinner by herself in a busy restaurant. And I was INSANELY JEALOUS.

When I was in college, I used to spend a lot of time alone. Not is a “woe is me I am so sad and angsty” way. I just liked getting to make all my own decisions without worrying what someone else thought or wanted or felt like doing that day. Between classes and work and the 2+ hours I spent at the gym 6 days a week (I really liked my gym) by the time dinner came along I couldn’t bear calling around and doing the socially required “Do you want to get dinner? I know we had pasta last night but I’m really in the mood for Italian again but if you’re not we can go for BBQ but if that one place is too expensive there’s that other place and if we get a cab we don’t have to park because that part of town is busy on Fridays but I don’t mind driving either” dance just to eat something. (And don’t ask why I didn’t ever make my own food – I was 21 and employed and lived in a city with some of the very best restaurants in the world.)

So I started going to restaurants alone. And I LOVED it. I carried a book in my purse and would get the smallest table by a window and half-read half-people watch while I enjoyed my sandwich or Thai food or clam chowder or whatever. The book kept most of the overly-friendly-let-me-rescue-you-from-being-lonely-dudes away and I got to know the staff at a few of my favorite places and they learned letting me sit quietly meant a nice tip to make up for hogging their table. Not only did I get to enjoy my book and my food, I always felt incredibly grown up and worldly and brave for eating alone and not caring if anyone thought I was being stood up or didn’t have any friends or smelled really bad and couldn’t get anyone to sit with me.

I cannot remember the last time I got to eat alone. I don’t even get to eat alone in my own house anymore – there’s always a tiny person yanking on my pants or shoving his hands in my bowl or SCREAMING at me. (Seriously, the screaming is getting way out of hand around here.) As much as I honestly love bringing the baby with me most of the time – grocery shopping is a fun way to show him shapes and colors and new things and we both enjoy it – every once in a while it would be super awesome to…not.

I think the next time I need to go bask in the joy that is Target run very important errands down by the mall I’m going to take a book and enjoy some Panera. ALONE.

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