As a solo traveler with the sole intent of visiting faraway cities to eat at the most fabulous restaurants, I understand that eating alone is inevitable – in fact, it is integral part of the vacation experience itself.
But let’s be real: dining alone in any situation could suck ass. We are socialized to see mealtimes as social activities, meant to nourish both the body and mind with the presence of others. Sure, everyone’s had to eat alone at some point (most likely at home, or maybe at school – ugh), but dining out is different.
So, if you are expecting to eat out alone at some point, how might you better survive/enjoy the experience?
Don’t sweat it, cherie – I gotcha covered! Read on below and bask in my deep wisdom.
1) Engage with your waiter.
The beginning of a satisfying solo dining experiences starts with greeting your waiter and letting him or her know that you are dining alone today.
If you’re a social person, ask your waiter to seat you in a more communal area of the restaurant, like the bar or near the entertainment if there is any. Look approachable by limiting time spent checking your smartphone or reading a book and be open to the conversations happening around you.
If you’re an anti-social misanthrope (I mean, adventurous solo traveler) like me, ask for your own table, preferably near the window so you can creep on the people outside (people watching?) as you lick your plates clean. With pro-longed eye contact, of course.
2) Focus on the food.
Eating is one of the most visceral human experiences, and if you traveled a long way to eat at a particular dish at particular place, soak it all in! Dining solo is a great opportunity to zone out and concentrate solely on what you’re putting in your mouth. Savor it at your own pace.
Also, the best part of eating alone is that you don’t have to share. Not even dessert. Let that sink in for a moment.
3) Understand that ain’t nobody else in the restaurant gives a fuck that you’re alone.
Contrary to what your self-consciousness is telling you, no one in the restaurant gives two shits about you eating alone. It’s not that they don’t care about you (well, they’re strangers anyway), it’s that they’re all much more interested in their own conversations and meals to judge you. Really.
And If some trifling ass bitches do give you shit, I recommend standing up, snapping your fingers in a z-formation, whipping your hair back and forth and screaming “U H8 ME CUZ U AIN’T ME” before sitting down to continue your meal.
4) Give zero fucks about eating alone.
Seriously. I want you to reach into your Bag of Fucks to Give About Eating Alone – dig deep – and come up empty fucking handed because you ain’t got none to give.
You do you, gurl. Don’t apologize, don’t give yourself grief about anything and most of all, do not feel sorry for yourself because you are about to eat some really good, soul-warming food in the presence of some of the best company around – your own! So FUCK IT!
Which leads us to…
Tip #5 Enjoy your own company!
A good meal is one part good food and one part good company, and if you can learn to enjoy your own company, you never truly eat alone.
As a frequent solo diner myself, I see eating alone as a chance to unwind, appreciate the delicacies of my meal and think out my thoughts, unknot any mental knots, and flesh out the bare bone ideas of yesterday’s daydreams.
Who knows, your next solo meal could be one of the best you’ve had yet, with only yourself as company. And that would be awesome.
So go on forth to your next solo meal, my dear reader, and eat like the champ you are.
PS: ONLY 3 MORE DAYS UNTIL MY VACATION AHHHHH!!!