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For the Food on Fridays carnival, any post remotely related to food is welcome—though we love to try new dishes, your post doesn’t have to be a recipe. We’re pretty relaxed over here, and stories and photos are as welcome as menus and recipes. When your Food on Fridays contribution is ready, just grab the broccoli button to paste at the top of your post. It ties us together visually. Then fill in the boxes of this linky tool to join the fun!
Food on Fridays with Ann
I dropped off my daughter for an algebra class and debated whether or not to drive home and back in less than an hour. If I drove home, I could grab a light lunch and head back; if I stayed nearby, I could browse Goodwill or slip into the grocery store to pick up some milk.Then a scandalous thought popped into my head.What if I ate lunch…at a restaurant…alone?Times when I eat out without my family, I’m meeting a friend or colleague. I never eat out alone.As I drove through town, debating, I spotted a restaurant called Noodles & Co. and flipped on the turn signal. I’d decided. I heard that they served Pad Thai.When I came up to the cashier I placed my order.”Okay. A bowl of Pad Thai. Regular size?” she asked.”Small,” I answered.”Do you want to add chicken, shrimp or tofu to that?” she asked.”No, thank you. Just basic Pad Thai.”She looked at me funny. Not sure why. “Okay,” she said. “To drink?””Water.””Okay. Are you…are you dining alone today?”I smiled. “Yes,” I answered confidently. “It’s just me.”She handed me a glass for my water and a number for my meal, and I searched for a table. The place was bustling, and I marveled that this whole eating out thing was normal for all these people…although no one else was eating alone.I settled into my chair and looked around. Outside, a man was looping Christmas lights around the spidery branches of spindly trees growing along the sidewalk. Next to me, a group of young businessmen discussed a recent interview that didn’t go well. Across the room, a couple sat side-by-side, the woman leaning in close.A Noodles & Co. worker walked toward me carrying my tiny little bowl of Pad Thai. I thanked her, stuck my pen in my journal to hold my spot, and picked up my fork. A little lunch just for me still seemed like a crazy splurge. I swirled the rice noodles around the tines and tasted the sauce.It was good.I opened my journal, uncapped my pen, and scribbled notes. And, glancing up at all the people eating together, I gave thanks that I could dine alone.
Hazel I. Moon says
Such a treat and so what if you dined alone. We seldom go to a restaurant (occasionally fast food or a subway if the sandwiches are on sale) but today we had a gift card for our local buffet to celebrate our 62nd Wedding Anniversary. We were alone – – well actually there was two of us. No kids or family today, just us and it was nice.
Ann Kroeker says
Happy anniversary!! Alone without a crew of people along–that sounds downright romantic. I hope you ate well and celebrated well, Hazel.
April@The 21st Century Housewife says
I always feel a bit nervous when dining alone, but I really shouldn’t. I’m glad you had such a lovely meal – it sounds wonderful!
Ann Kroeker says
I felt like that lady was concerned about me, but I was happy to look around, write, pray, eat, and just enjoy a quiet moment of solitude…in that busy place.
Lynn Hopper says
That takes me back to when you and your brother were little…and eating a meal absolutely alone was a treat! Co-workers couldn’t understand why I was happy in the ladies lounge with my sandwich! Later, I often went out once a week by myself, and friends acted as if eating alone in a restaurant, even fast food, was a no-no. I think it was because I knew I did have people to eat with me made me more secure in dining alone. I listened to people around me and picked up news tidbits….
I’d eat with you any time, though!
Ann Kroeker says
I actually thought of you, Mom, because you’d told me about how your female friends couldn’t imagine eating alone. I’m glad you had a few moments to yourself when I was little.
And I hadn’t thought about the psychology of feeling secure, but you make a really good point–I have several people I could have phoned to join me, if they would have had time. So it’s not that I am friendless that I ate alone. Interesting observation.
Sheila Seiler Lagrand says
I have to harness up my courage-horse to walk into a restaurant alone.
Now, I could get on a plane and fly to Fiji alone, with no one expecting me at the other end, and just know that I’d connect with a family.
But walk in for Pad Thai all alone? :::shivers:::