Tuesday, 22 January 2008

An Experiment in Dining Alone

This weekend I went down to Grand Rapids for a Seminary Wives retreat. It was really fun, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to get away for awhile. It was nice to hear a crying child & know I had no responsibility for it!
On my way home it was about 6pm and I decided I had too far to go yet to make it home before I ate. I didn't really feel like fast food, so I decided to eat at Ruby Tuesdays. I didn't actually feel that weird going into the restaurant by myself. I figure lots of people go in alone, usually they end up meeting someone, but I could go in and wait for a table alone. So I put my name on the list and waited for them to call me. The manager came up to me about 10 minutes later to inform me that "your table is almost ready. We're just getting it ready. It shouldn't be much longer." I appreciated her telling me that, but her tone of voice was like I must be retarded to be there alone. I felt like telling her that just b/c someone comes to a restaurant alone doesn't mean there's something wrong with them.
So after a few more minutes I was seated at my table. I perused the menu, chose my dinner, and THEN I started to feel a bit awkward. I had no one to talk to, nothing to look at, I didn't want to eavesdrop on someone else's conversation (more about that later), I didn't want to stare at the couple across the way with twins b/c I'm sure they get enough of that everywhere they go.... I was really glad there are TVs in that restaurant, even though they were all election coverage, at least I now know what's going on in the political realm. Even so, I still felt a bit funny sitting alone and watching the TV. I felt like I'd be better off with a book.
Incidentally, while trying NOT to eavesdrop, a new family was seated at the table next to me. They had 3 daughters aged from 13 to about 4. The oldest was protesting quite loudly that she wasn't allowed to have MySpace, and she didn't think that was fair. The mother said "we'll discuss this later." Which prompted the daughter to ask when "later" might be. Apparently the girl's birthday is in March, at which point she will be eligible for a MySpace account, and she didn't see any reason why she shouldn't be able to get one then. The mother said that they would discuss it after her birthday in March. "I can get it after my birthday in March?" "No, we'll DISCUSS it after your birthday in March, and I don't want to hear another word about it until then." At which point the 4 year old daughter says, "She gets MySpace after her birthday?" Mother is about to lose it here folks! "No, we'll DISCUSS it then, and I don't want to hear another word about it from ANYONE until then."
Oh, the joys of parenthood, something to look forward to.


  1. I eat alone a fair bit, mainly at work (because it's hard to carry food upstairs from the canteen to the teachers' lounge in a wheelchair!), but also whenever it's just me at home and I feel like going to Starbucks for a coffee and a cake, that sort of thing. I usually take a book. It keeps me happy and busy, and stops people staring. :D

  2. Hey, thank for the comment. Nice to know someone still checks. Didn't know you had a blog, but will read it now. Congratulations also! Look forward to seeing you again in May.


  3. I have gone out to restaurants by myself before to escape my kids, it does seem like everyone is looking at you! Best thing is to read a book. I so look forward to my kids hitting the teen years. Ack!!

  4. OMG! I dined alone at a place in Iowa, I was on my way to meet Tyler in Omaha, and there was a gaggle of ladies that came in and started to talk about how one of them always gets frickin yeast infections!!! ICK!!!! try eating mashed taters while listening to that.... but I was reading and was mad cause I couldn't finsih my dinner, and I couldn't concentrate on my book... so sad!!!!