Table for One

I’m the type of person who has absolutely no problem dining alone, and in fact, I rather enjoy it. It’s like meditation in the form of stuffing your face. No one is there to judge you for ordering that entree sized appetizer and an actual entree. You don’t have to worry about taking a bite right at the very moment that your dining mate asks you a pressing question, resulting in a very long awkward pause while you try to chew at choking hazard speed to free your tongue for speaking, thus ruining the bite altogether. And you also don’t have to play checkbook table hockey to decide who is going to pick up the tab.

dining alone

From the In the Dollhouse collection: Dining Alone, 2011By Dina Goldstein

Dining alone is sublime if you ask me, but along with everything else in the world, there are a few downsides. Let me fill you in.

1. People will feel sorry for you. Especially and extremely so if you are over fifty. I don’t know why, but when I see an older man or woman dining alone I want to slit my wrists.

2. Your waiter will unintentionally make you feel inadequate by slowly taking away all of the other silverware on the table and saying something like, “Is it just you tonight?”

3. Remember those people who are feeling sorry for you? You will eventually succumb to their stares and whip out your smart phone to pretend you are handling important business emails, when you are really seeing how bad you look with a double chin on Fat Booth before you order that appetizer disguised as an entree.

4. At this point, your waiter has now joined in on the pity party for you, so you will have to deal with taking a bite right at the very moment that he asks you a pressing question about your refill, resulting in a very long awkward pause while you try to chew at choking hazard speed to free your tongue for speaking, thus ruining the bite altogether.

5. You have to pay. Unless the entire staring restaurant forms a sympathy pool to pay for your pathetic dinner.

Dining alone

So let me fix my first paragraph about dining alone: No one is there to judge you for ordering that entree sized appetizer and an actual entree … except yourself. You don’t have to worry about taking a bite right at the very moment that your dining mate asks you a pressing question, resulting in a long awkward pause while you try to chew at choking hazard speed to free your tongue for speaking, thus ruining the bite altogether… but your waiter will have the same bad timing. And you also don’t have to play checkbook table hockey to decide who is going to pick up the tab… but there is absolutely no chance you are getting a free meal.

So I meant it when I said that I enjoy dining alone. I enjoy dining alone in my living room while watching old episodes of The Office and secretly pining over Dwight. Don’t judge me.

Dining alone while reading this?! Let me give you more stuff to do on your smart phone so you don’t look so bored. Check out Not A Redhead on YouTube here.

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About Becca Cord

Becca Cord is a twenty-something year old southern ballerina turned humor writer and video editor. Having lived in Louisiana her entire life, she is now perusing her travel dreams while starting her own free-lance Web Marketing business and organizing a nation wide blogging event, Blogger Interactive. She believes one of her callings is making people laugh, and she intends to do so. You can find Becca on her personal blog, Facebook page, or Twitter @becca25tofly.

Posted on January 16, 2014, in Humor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 60 Comments.

  1. Omg, I LOVE take out so I can dine alone at home!! I’ve realized I search “nearby take out” on yelp way too much…

  2. I actually do it quite often and find it easy to dine alone in NYC. I lived in Italy and anywhere you were as a female alone meant you wanted to be picked up–according to the thinking of the men there anyway–but in NYC where anonymity is part of life, no one sees me–I think anyway! And I don’t see them either. Unless I’m wearing my glasses! :-)

    • How awful. Remind me not to go to Italy alone! NYC, however, count me in. I have a feeling I will be dining alone in NYC within the next year or so. I am fantasying about it!

  3. Great post :D. I don’t have the guts to dine alone outside my house, because people might think I don’t have friends or smell or something. There are a few things I need company for: eating, drinking, going to the movies. There are also things I don’t need anyone for – shopping, studying. It’s a fine line… ;)

    • Oh man, we are opposites. I think your guidelines are more healthy. It’s probably way more productive to study alone and shop alone. No bad influence. It’s probably not good to drink alone. Sigh.

  4. As a messy eater I find myself eating alone quite often

  5. I find that the habit either scares people away or attracts them. And it’s usually the opposite one to what I want at any given moment.

  6. Next time you dine out alone, wear a cardboard tiara that says ‘Happy Birthday’ and see how many extra stares you get. Not like I would know. I mean, I never… *sniff* I have something in my eye. I’ll be right back.

  7. No judgements here. I go to movies alone now and I’m married and have two kids. I love not having anyone interupt me. Also I think that pining about Dwight is nothing to be ashamed of either.

  8. Haha!! So true and so funnily put. There are times I want to eat alone, eg. when I want to slobber over a chocolate sinker. It is simply not something I can eat in polite company.But, well, sometimes staring at your phone can be really boring and thinking about stuff is not a good second option. Those times- eating alone is a test of how fast you can gobble your food without looking like you’re racing to finish the food fast to get the ordeal over with.

    • Thanks ma’am. I’m getting so hungry reading through the comments today. I can definitely put away some food in record time to escape an uncomfortable situation! Ha!

  9. I have never liked dining alone in public, but like you… at home is just fine. There is something so sad about a person eating alone at a restaurant, and servers really do NEED to work on their timing… I mean sheesh… I always make a big deal of my thumbs up gesture when I’m chewing and they ask me how things are. LOL

    • I AM a server, and there is just no way to approach the situation without feeling awkward or like you are “sorry” for the person. The thumbs up is great. It let’s them (me) know that I (you) am all good, and no fake conversation has to be made. Ha! Also, it depends on the person. Being a waitress requires that you be able to read people. Some tables I can clown around with and curse up a storm, others I have to be very Mary Poppins if you know what I mean!

  10. Secretly pining over Dwight?! What do you and Angela see in him? Is it the unlimited beets? Or his knowledge of bears? Or his hot short-sleeved button down shirts?

    I am a totally weeny about dining alone and almost always opt to order take out and then eat it sitting in front of the television. This is most likely caused by the fact that whenever I’m left along with my insane thoughts for too long I manage to get myself into a lot of trouble.

    • Dwight is a MAN!!!!!!! THE man!!!!!!!!! He crumbles to no one!!!!!!! Except me. In the fantasy. And let’s face it, if I were going to be any character from the office it would be Angela. Especially because cats.

      Overthinking is definitely a dangerous activity!

  11. I decided to learn how to do things alone – so I went to a movie, ate a meal, took belly dancing and it was amazing that I could do all that and not die :)

    I do like paying for things with change….pennies are great – there’s no such thing as ‘petty cash’.

    • It’s always best to just jump in the cold water all at once, right? Rip the band aid fast? Yes. Good for you Denise!

      I don’t think I can agree with you as much on the pennies thing. The only time I like change is when I am turning a LOT of it into dollars at Coinstar ;).

  12. *tow, not town. But I guess since she’s in town that would be correct, too, just not what I meant.

  13. I rarely go out to eat and when I do, there’s typically a four year-old in town. So, when I get the opportunity to eat all alone (once or twice a year?), I weep with joy because I can actually just eat. I savor every bite and every peaceful drink. *sigh* To dine alone, whether in my kitchen or at a cafe, is…exquisite.

  14. I eat alone often as I travel for work. I used to care and feel self conscious but now I don’t. I have to admit I do hide behind the old smart phone though… But isn’t Twitter and Facebook fascinating when you are all alone!

  15. I love the liberation of eating alone. I get to pick the place I want, get seated pretty quickly since I don’t have a large party, and stay as long as I like. I’ve met some pretty great waiters and waitresses this way because being alone allows me to strike up a conversation with them.

    Plus, I don’t like people paying for me. Every once in awhile it’s okay, but mama has her own money, and she likes spending it on herself.

  16. Don’t judge you?
    Where’s the fun in that?
    Now I’m bummed….

    Anyways, I’m a family man and a bellman in a hotel with 1,000 rooms.
    I actually don’t mind eating alone every once in a while…
    (But don’t tell anyone that, okay?)

  17. I was thinking of myself dining alone and I was starting to get down right depressed until I came to the part about the sympathy pool and saw all that change! Is it in bad form to start the pool yourself or should it happen naturally?

  18. I don’t mind dining whatsoever. Sometimes, I even prefer it, Becca. There’s peace in silence. Now if the wait staff would just leave us alone.

  19. Being single and just past fifty, no one seems to feel sorry for me when I dine out anywhere. And, yes, I wish I was dining with a red head.

  20. Dining alone rocks. But dining with someone is even better.

  21. There is a way to get a free meal: Dine and dash.

  22. love your blog Becca ( stop denying that you are a redhead!) I don’t mind dining along, sometimes, I enjoy it!

  23. Yes, dining IN alone is superb. Love this post!

    • I especially like it when I have the energy to make something really gourmet, light a candle, put on my dressy long johns and have a romantic date with myself at “Chez Becca.”

      God, what a rediculous sight.

  24. I eat alone a lot, and use my phone to keep people at bay. I don’t talk much anyways, so thumbs up and head nods are acceptable forms of communication for me.

  25. I enjoy dining alone sometimes. I bring a book, eat way too much, and then I look forward to going home to my wife, who I miss, since I didn’t have dinner with her.

    And a quick “Just keep my glass full til I’m done” is usually enough to keep the waiter at bay.
    It’s all in the sneer.

  26. This is why someone invented take-out. It has to be.

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