Have you ever been out for dinner with your family, and noticed someone sitting alone at a table? Maybe you wondered to yourself why that person was eating alone. Perhaps they’re single? Or maybe they’re travelling alone and dining out as they pass through town?
Well last week, that solo diner was me.
I’ve always found the thought of dining out alone somewhat intimidating. What would I do while I waited for my food to arrive? How would I react to the curious stares of other diners who were enjoying the company of friends – who would wonder why I was sitting alone?
Stepping outside of my comfort zone has been one of my goals for this year. That, and taking time out for myself to keep sane amongst the happily chaotic life I lead as a career mom with 3 kids.
I was out enjoying one of my first-ever facials at Skoah, thanks to a free certificate I had received recently at a fundraising event (side note: I’m adding “get regular facials” to my list of things to do just for me – it was fabulous). I felt relaxed and refreshed when I left, and wasn’t ready to call it an evening, so I strolled through the shops nearby. But I was hungry (as I always am).
My first instinct was to rush to my car, hit a drive-thru, and gobble down a burger and some fries on my way home. And then my eyes fell on one of my favourite restaurants, Trattoria, and my mouth began to water as I imagined gobbling down some of my favourite dishes.
I hesitantly walked up to the entrance, and waited for the hostess to greet me. And to my surprise, she didn’t seem phased when I asked for a table for one. Instead, she warmly asked me how my day was going, and let me know that she was available if I had any questions.
As I sat alone at the table, I glanced around the room. Instead of judgy stares, my eyes were met with friendly smiles. No one seemed to care that I was sitting alone!
I played on my phone (you know, to look busy), and chatted with the server who seemed happy to engage in conversation. I sipped on a glass of wine, and slowly nibbled and noshed on my delicious meal. I didn’t have to cut up food for anyone, or repeatedly ask anyone to stop raising their voices or to take another bite. I just ate. In peace. And I was having such a lovely time, I even ordered dessert!
Dining out alone doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s a great way to take a time out, collect your thoughts, and enjoy a little time just for you.
The next thing I’m adding to my bucket list: a weekend away, alone. Fingers crossed I can take this whole “me time” thing to a whole new level!