Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Don't Want To Eat Alone

Tonight, the family and I went out to eat. Nothing fancy, but it is one of our favorite places, a large salad bar buffet kind of place.

After we had been there a few minutes, I noticed a woman walk over and sit in front of us. I may not have paid any real attention to her but I noticed She looked at us a couple of times. Then I realized She was alone.

I would guess she was in her early forties. There was no ring on her finger. She wore nice, business type attire, and left a decent tip on the table. So, I believe her to be unmarried and working, an independent woman if you will. That is all fabulous and I'm sure she has far more pairs of shoes than I could ever afford.

She sat at a small table against the wall, and ate all by herself. I tried not to stare, but I couldn't help but notice and think about it.

I couldn't do that. I could not go out alone to eat like that. Perhaps she is simply braver than I, more courageous, or just more of a woman than I will ever be, but I really felt a little bad for her.

At first I want to be the liberated strong feminist who thinks "good for her. She can do anything she wants to do", but the reality is, I would not want to eat alone, no matter how fabulous I was.

Eating out is such a social thing to do. Perhaps that is to our detriment in this nation, but none the less, it is a very social thing to do. I'm sure there are occasions where eating alone is more acceptable, probably much more so later on in life where is it more likely that a spouse has passed, but to be youngish and have no one to eat with just seems lonely to me.

She may have children, but why not wait until they could go with you to eat? This wasn't fast food and grabbing a bite, but sitting down to graze kind of place. Why wouldn't you call a friend, or someone else to just hang with?

I'm not judging her in the least. If her life works for her, then I think it is fantastic. I do have to wonder if her life works for her, though. I hope it does.

Maybe she was staring at us because she wished she were with a family, or perhaps she was staring at us thinking about how glad she was not to have to feed children, wipe mouths, keep buts in seats, and that she got to eat in relative peace, minus the chaos spreading from our table outward.

How ever it works out, I hope she is happy in her life where it is, and if not, then I hope she finds her own happiness soon.