Dining alone

I’m not really afraid of being on my own. I prefer traveling alone for instance. And I need a dinner or two a week alone, just to have some peace and quiet. I have this discussion with a friend about drinking alone. He thinks that to drink alone is something only alcoholics do, and therefore that others shouldn’t. My philosophy is that when you are single, live alone and like to drink alcohol for it’s own sake (not to get drunk, but because it tastes good), then you have to drink alone every now and then.

To drink or eat alone is seen as something you don’t do, mostly because it is a social thing and doing it alone usually implies that you don’t have anyone to do it with. Many I know have never gone to a café alone. They have never sat alone at a bar. Many who travel for business travel alone, but they usually have a computer or book to hide behind. And if you’re just having a coffee then a book counts as “someone”.

The next step is to do the same, just without the book. No excuse. You’re just you, all alone. Yesterday I went to a restaurant all alone. I had no book or computer. I had my iPod, but that was just because it was noisy and I didn’t want a part in the next table’s conversation. The funny thing is that I didn’t feel alone at all. I managed to just send one text and other than that I just sat there. Looked at the people around me and contemplated my life.

Maybe this works for me because I’m so seldom alone. I have meetings, dinner dates and trips all the time. For almost two weeks this easter I shared a room with 7 other girls and we were 80 people in the dining hall. This weekend we were 20 people at the cabin trip and for the next week I won’t have dinner alone a single time. So every time I’m actually alone with my dinner I treasure the feeling.

What do you think when you see someone alone at a restaurant? Or at a café? Have you ever dared do it yourself? Would you ever travel alone? My father has told me about once when he was 16 he went hiking in the mountains all alone with a tent for a week. Ever since he told me I have wished to do the same. I haven’t done it yet, but that’s only because I have so many people to see that I haven’t had a whole week to myself yet. I couldn’t be alone forever, I’d have to know that I could share my experiences when I come back home. Or that I’d meet someone while traveling, but I like to do the actual trip alone. To be just me.

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