Guest blogger “Just Daisy” of www.curvygirlguide.com shares the magic of a table for one.
Last December I found myself with a day off of work in downtown Chicago. I’d been summoned for jury duty and promptly dismissed and suddenly there I was without anything to do at 11:30 in the morning. After considering stopping to pick up a sandwich on my way home I took a deep breath and marched myself into my favorite steakhouse near the court. I asked for a seat at the bar, just me. No, no one will be joining me thank you. Yes, I’ll take the odd seat between two groups right there.
I hung my purse and smoothed my hair. I’ve never eaten alone before, even when I spent my summers essentially living alone in Dallas and only having a few friends in the area who were, sadly, not available for dinner every night. In Dallas I cooked for one, snagged take out or ate at the bar of the restaurant where I worked, which isn’t so much dining alone as much as it is dining with a constant rotation of friends to chat with while you eat something that isn’t on the menu but is entirely delicious.
But that day, I decided, I was grown up enough to eat alone. After sitting down I ordered a glass of white wine on impulse, which was the second atypical choice of the hour, seeing as how I always order red wine. Always a fan of the trio, I did my third “crazy for me” thing and ordered a salad for lunch. If anyone who knows me is reading this they might actually open their mouth in surprise because I have been, for a very long time, Strictly Anti-Salad In Restaurants.
But that day, alone in my thoughts, I thoroughly enjoyed a chopped salad with a crisp glass of white wine, by myself. I imagined I was downtown for some luxurious Christmas shopping and caught up on emails and read quietly on my iPad, savoring my drink and the murmur of business talk around me. My office, while great in many ways, is not conducive to the low hum of lunchtime business talk that fills the downtown, where sounds are muffled by the rows of expensive tailored overcoats hanging off the back of every chair, where business deals are done between courses and cases are settled as lunch checks are paid with corporate credit cards and signed with fountain pens. No, where my office is lunch establishments are filled with women with toddlers in tow, pushing strollers and stopping their wee ones from tossing their toy car at you while you eat a sandwich, which has its own merits, but doesn’t have the same feeling if you know what I mean.
I let the sounds wash over me, the business deals, the opening and closing of the umbrellas, the tinkle of the silverware and I savored it all. From here on out my schedule was filled with the Crazy Busy Schedule, of holiday parties and Christmas shopping and cheesecake baking and turkey brining…but that day, by myself, I took a minute to enjoy part of an afternoon, alone.
A table for one. One of the best things I’d done for myself in a long time.