Matcha Latte at Behind the Museum Cafe
I'm sitting alone, sipping this matcha latte, and I love the being aloneness. Many people do this nowadays, alone but not really alone with the laptop and the smart phone and Facebook and Twitter. Are we ever really alone anymore?
I've long been comfortable dining alone. Work travels trained me to this and once I got my feet under me as a grown up (somewhere in my late 20's), I seldom felt awkward. My comfort in solo dining matured from something I tolerated to something I happily anticipated.
Coffee shops know how to handle the lone sipper, but many restaurants still do not. In fact, one of my top criteria for evaluating a restaurant is based upon how well it treats me as a solo diner. Here's an example of excellent service, and it happened to be at a tea room (coincidentally). Many years ago, I visited the St. James Tea Room (as I did often), and this day I was by myself. I wanted to treat myself and I wanted to be alone. Mary Alice, the owner, seated me. When realizing I would be a party of one, she smiled broadly and said - and I still remember it - "Oh, I love to have tea alone! It's so nice to sit and read or think without being interrupted. I hope you enjoy this time." Her welcoming attitude put me at ease as she showed me to a nice table. By contrast, at other restaurants, I've been sequestered to the two-top crammed into a back corner.
When I'm dining alone, I feel powerful. Don't misinterpret me - I love dining with other people, as well, but that is for a social purpose. Alone, I am taking myself on a date. I practice being confident in the world (rather than thinking people are looking at me/feeling sorry for me because I'm alone/etc./etc./etc.). I take in the environment. I write or read - or not. I listen to myself and that is the most important part.
Do you enjoy dining alone? I encourage you to give it a try. Take yourself on a date to a restaurant you've always wanted to try. Table for one.