Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dining Alone

R.a.n.t. of week 09/22/13
It's time for din-din and the cupboard is bare. Sure, you could just run out to go grocery shopping, then come home and prepare a mediocre dinner. But who has time for all that? Okay, maybe everyone beyond me, but by the time I get home from work it's about 5:30 or 6:00. Usually, I'm very tired and making dinner is not something I'd rather do when I'm tired. So what's a guy to do? Eating out is the obvious next option. If you are like me, eating fast food won't do the trick. Everything seems to be made with Grade F meat (Mostly circus animals with some filler). So something above fast food is the place to be. For most people, it's not a problem, but for someone like me who has a healthy dose of social anxiety, it's not always easy. I just feel kind of funny dining along, even though many friends and family tell me there is nothing wrong with it. (Oh my gosh, Jeff was dining alone last night! Not that there is anything wrong with that). So what are the pros and cons when it come to dining alone? Yes, I forced myself to think of a few pros and cons for when I have to dine alone.

Deciding Alone:
Pro - No committee meeting, long debates or haggling over where to go.
Con - No one to bounce ides off of. No influx of immediate suggestions. I'm a person who is very unoriginal when it comes to thinking of somewhere to eat. Can't even count the number of times I've heard one of my sisters tell me about a new place they've tried and I just scratch my head trying to figure out where they hear about some of the restaurants they've been too. Usually, I'll just resort to going somewhere I've been many times before. As hinted at, I get very anxious about finding a new place and entering, not knowing what to expect.

Sitting Alone:
Pro - A good time to be one with your thoughts, or Iphone.
Con - I always feel like I'm being looked at and judged. "He's dining alone, he must have no friends", "I feel bad for him, he's got no wife or girlfriend", "How sad is that, how pitiful, he's such a nobody". Okay, maybe unrealistic thoughts, but in my own mind I hear those slung in my direction. I told you, I have social anxiety and that's part of it.

Waiting Alone:
Pro - No having to wait for others to finish eating? When I'm done, I can just leave. (Once my bill is paid).
Con - Sitting alone and waiting as my bill is brought to me and/or processed. By the time my food has been consumed, I'm just about done with my thoughts. Mostly because I generally bring a notebook along with me to take notes in, especially when my thoughts are centred towards what I'm going to be writing or about next.

This past week I made plans with one of my friends to visit another friend who just started a job in a restaurant. As always, (I say always, I mean in this case), plans fell through. Instead of deciding to not go, because it was something I was looking forward to, I opted to go outside my comfort zone and 'just do it'. Confidentially, it kind of helped I was hoping to have a bad experience so I would have an awesome r.a.n.t. tale to tell, but it didn't quite turn out that way. Certainly, no horror story. And I can't say it wasn't worth writing home about, because after all, I just finished writing about it. So it can be done! I can dine alone. I'm just not very happy with it.


  1. Of course, you could go shopping in the morning on the way to work (keeping the stuff in an office fridge) or on the weekend- for the week. Then, you could prepare each meal, at least part way, so it can be popped into the oven to top it off for enjoyment that night...

    1. I know I could do that. But that would be too easy. And not as much fun to complain about. Or would it........

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    1. The key to dining alone is to make sure you aren't seated in an area designed for more than one person. That draws unnecessary attention to yourself. The other thing you have to remember is to be confident. Easier said than done...but truthfully it's a lot easier if you aren't in a 6 person round booth with no one next to you. At least if you are at the bar area you will have a much higher chance of meeting someone who may want to chat and is in the same solo-diner mind frame. Sure they might end up being weird...but hey, at least now you have a good story.