Monday, September 12, 2011

The New Widow: Eating Out Alone

I was in Austin last weekend at an elder law conference. After driving down and checking into my hotel I headed out to have some dinner. I chose to eat a Chewy’s, a Mexican food icon in Austin. When arriving at the restaurant I discovered the wait was around an hour for a table. (After all the food is great and it was a Friday night!) I chose to sit at the bar, which offered full food service, rather than wait to be seated.

As I sat at the bar, I thought about a friend of mine who isn’t comfortable eating out alone. She feels like everybody is looking at her and wondering why she is alone. Since an inflatable dinner companion doesn’t seem like a viable option, I spent my dinner time alternately watching some random sporting event on TV and thinking about how a new widow can deal with the discomfort of eating out alone.

The first thing for every new widow to remember is that no one is wondering why she is sitting alone. They are all too busy thinking of their own problems to even be aware of the woman sitting alone in a restaurant. If you are unsure about this, look around you and see how many of those people seem more interesting that your own problems. None, right?

I did find that sitting at a restaurant bar felt very different than sitting at a table. First you aren’t looking at all the other people, so you are not thinking about them. Second, at a bar you are usually sitting beside two other people. Nobody knows weather you are with people or are alone. (Of course they weren’t thinking about you at all, but if they had thought about you, it wouldn’t have been because you were alone!) Third, you don’t have to wait for an hour for a table with no one to talk to.

Of course if you are still unconvinced, I suggest you bring an old sweater to drape over the chair across from you, giving everyone the impression that your dining partner has just stepped away. What ever you do, enjoy your meal!


Dana H. said...

First, Chuy's is wonderful and great choice for dinner. Second, things are vastly different now. Everyone is so busy with their schedule that they eat when they can. I can honestly say, I have not noticed anyone out eating by themselves. I know that they are there, because I am. It just means that I didn't notice the fact that they were by themselves. No one notices that anymore so absolutely - enjoy your meal!

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