Sunday, July 03, 2005

How pitiful?

Those of you who know me, know that before I met my girlfriend I had been single for a long, long, long time. Not that it bothered me too much. I enjoyed the single life. (But, for the record, once I got the hang of it, I've been enjoying the relationship life very much.)

As a single person, you spend a lot of time alone--even if you have a lot of friends. That's just the nature of the beast. And to be happy, you don't let the fact that you are by yourself stop you from doing what you want to do. In fact, you try to embrace doing whatever you want whenever you want.

Why am I talking about this? Well, my girlfriend has been out of town for the last three and a half weeks, and I've been trying to keep a good attitude, keep busy, and not feel too lonely while she's been gone. I think I've been successful. But, I haven't been to the grocery store in weeks, which means I've been eating out pretty much every meal for the last week and a half. This is fine, but tonight I experienced something I haven't experienced in the year and a half we've been together: people's pity for me because I am dining alone.

Tonight I was eating at the Italian restaurant down the street. I had ordered myself a half liter of wine and some pasta, and had just cracked open the book my girlfriend got me for our anniversary (damn you lawschool!). All in all, I was pretty happy. Next to me was a large party--an entire extended family, undoubtedly getting together for the holiday weekend. Mom/Grandma took one look at me and said, "I'm sorry we don't have another chair, we'd invite you to join the family." I thanked her for her sentiment, but tried to tell her as convincingly as possible that I was fine where I was.

That's the thing--I was fine. It is ok to eat at a restaurant alone. It is ok to be alone sometimes. There is nothing wrong with me--is there?

Maybe I should just go to the grocery store so I don't have to subject others to my pathological solitariness. Don't want others to feel uncomfortable, you know.


Blogger Meg said...

not pitiful at all. it's funny, I have no compunctions about doing pretty much anything alone: backpacking, dining, movies, bars, whatever. But I can't handle going to a show alone. I don't know why, I just hate it. I tried it last week and had to give up after an hour or so, because it gave me a headache. I think maybe it brings out the androgynous-wallflower-at-the-middle-
school-dance-whom-no-one-will-talk-to in me. and the odd thing is, the more people try to be nice to me in that situation, the worse I feel.

The answer to all this is, clearly, that people shouldn't try to be nice. (I gave up a long time ago.)

9:20 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

By the way, welcome back.

9:21 PM  
Blogger great sandwich! said...

yeah, i agree about the shows. that's hard, although i do it from time to time when i want to see a show that no one else does. the key is to try to seem cooler than everyone else. yeah, right, who am I kidding? the key is to get really drunk.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Yeah, umm. Drunk. That was my mistake. I was drinking ginger ale.

I'd like to point out that I went to great lengths to use the proper pronoun in my sentence-with-too-many-hyphens, and then ended it with a preposition. Loser!!!

Oh my god, I just called myself out on a grammatical error in public. Loser x 2. I burn with shame.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Susan Rose, CSJP said...

Introverts of the world unite!

Oh wait, then we'd be extroverts.

Says the girl who just enjoyed her own company and her paper over a lovely breakfast at her local cafe.

And went for a hike by herself yesterday.

I too however cannot handle shows on my own. Weird.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Crapartist said...

Welcome back punkass.
I'm glad that kind of thing never happens to me. I exude some toxin i guess.

12:12 PM  
Blogger jkf said...

I want to like doing things by myself, but I'm not at all good at it. I'll rush a meal just to get out of a place, because, well I just bore myself, I think and I'm a homebody by nature.

3:05 PM  

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