I’m not sure if this is some kind of societal issue that has dissuaded me from eating alone…but for some reason, I feel like going out to eat, by yourself, is so taboo. It is awkward – isn’t it? But maybe, in all reality, it is more enjoyable than eating with others. You don’t have to worry about splitting the check (or who is paying for it)…you can eat like a slob and not be concerned about grossing out the person across from you. You don’t feel rushed or feel like you have to eat slower (I’m usually on the latter end, because I eat ridiculously fast). You meet people, because well, let’s face it, most people think it is awkward to sit at a restaurant and eat alone.
BUT I will no longer share this feeling. I’ve said to myself, over the past years, that one way I know that I’m content is if I can go to any restaurant, alone, and enjoy a meal by myself. Okay, well I haven’t done it at a lot of places…but the few places I have, I’ve actually had amazing experiences. So, today, I want to share one with you.
Sunday morning (yesterday? wow…it feels like a few days ago), I went to Food Dance in Kalamazoo. On Sundays, they serve their griddle items all day, and they are one of the only restaurants that gives you pure maple syrup. So, needless to say, this is one of the only restaurants where I will order pancakes/waffles/fresh toast and for that, I get pretty excited!
I arrive at the restaurant and it was pretty empty (usually it is an hour wait around 11am on a Sunday morning)…so I got a quick seat at the bar. Within a few minutes, I had ran into 3 people I knew…but still was going to be enjoying a meal alone. I sit down at the bar and start to look over the drink menu. I was pretty set on ordering a mimosa because they fresh squeeze OJ on the daily for these bad boys ($9…so DRINK slow)…but another lonesome diner convinced me to try a mojito and DAMN was I happy with that suggestion. This thing was DIVINE! Such fresh ingredients that you could chew the mint leaves and taste the gin. Oh heaven, in a glass.
So…I’m enjoying my brunch and start talking to a guy sitting a few seats down from me…the casual introduction, where do you work, where are you from, why are you wearing sunglasses inside, at 1pm (I was at the restaurant for a little over 3 hours)…the basic stuff. He was an interesting person…worked at Food Dance when he first moved to Kalamazoo a few years ago and introduced me to a few of the employees (all great people!) and he also bought me another drink.
Now, many of you don’t know me…but one thing about me that most people learn quickly…is that I don’t really drink. I like alcohol – whiskey and water is my favorite…I drink wine. Beer is tasty (sometimes) and I almost was a co-owner of a microbrewery…but I don’t like being drunk. I don’t like feeling out of control. I don’t like being sloppy. I do like to drive my car. So…two drinks (and good quality drinks)…really kick my ass and within a few sips of my 2nd drink (a delicious Nicey Spicey from Short’s Brewing Company)…I was feeling slightly tipsy…and THEN, I run into a good friend of mine who is having brunch with his good friend.
After finishing my meal…saying goodbye to Andy (who bought my drink, complimented my skills…as I finished everything on my plate and he was impressed, “normally girls like you don’t finish a meal…”…whatever the hell that means!), and wandered over to join these guys as they finished their meal.
After a few minutes…we started to discuss slightly obscene things, like pedophilia, ass tattoos, periods, and other taboo topics that tend to come up in my conversations with strangers. Without going into much more detail…I just want to say that I am OVER my fear of eating alone. I am going to try and go eat somewhere by myself at least once a week. I think it is a great way to meet new people, experience new places, and get to know yourself a little better…and hey, you might even get a free drink!