Confessions on Dining Alone

October 26, 2015

I'm sitting in a quiet corner of a trendy organic cafe in the heart of another quaint downtown. Ladies are lunching with babies in their arms and shopping bags at their feet. Personally, I'm drowning my sorrows in my vegan raw lemon and gluten free cheesecake after an unsatisfying fig and arugula salad. Can't say the cheesecake is a great encore but it's pleasing my sweet tooth.

We've recently moved to California and it's everything I imagined it to be; relaxed, sunny and laid back. I'm not a west coast girl, so, exploring feels like a field study. I'm still in watching and observing mode. As I walked around this downtown area, scenes of Nancy Meyers and Nora Ephram films come to mind. I sit, at a table for one, enjoying the tasteful French and Brazilian tunes serenading me, while a barrage of idle gossip conversation about wives splitting up with their husbands (who are consequently remarrying younger version of themselves) is interrupting my digestion. Men in middle age are so predictable! Honestly, I'm not a snoop but these tables are really close to each other. It's hard not to eavesdrop listen. Sadly, this scenario isn't necessarily unique to the west coast but it's a reminder of how we are the same; fragile, flawed, human. It's sad and entertaining to overhear their stories as I stare through the windows and/or enjoy the interiors of this restaurant.

I know, that I need to stop being a fly on the wall. I haven't exactly reached out to meet new people nor do I see myself doing so. We are living in the bay area for just under a year. I'm finding it easier to do things alone and enjoy it. I like doing things on my own terms. But being introverted, can be lonely. What's keeping me from being a complete recluse is frequenting here, an independently owned cafe & community workspace, as well as, my local Starbucks for occasional small talk. It's satisfying the extrovert in me and makes me for a happier mommy at the pick up line.

I'm learning that part of growing up maturing is giving yourself the permission to do things you haven't or wouldn't do. Eating alone is a good example. I'm starting to get good at it. I dine alone frequently in the mornings or for lunch, usually, toting a kindle, tablet or real hardcover to pass the time. A book with an eye-catching title usually strikes up conversation. I like to use this time away from the house to organize my thoughts and day. Inevitably, if I'm home, the overwhelming desire to do housework will take over my day. But I need more, so, I give myself the permission to take care of me and enjoy myself and I.

If dining alone still feels daunting, you might find this, this or that article encouraging and helpful.

Happy dining!

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