Thursday, 17 January 2013

How to Eat Alone

How to eat in a restaurant alone. This may seem like a very simple statement and even easier action to some, while others will understand how this seemingly simple idea creates complete anxiety; consuming food seated at a table for one. EEK! The very thought of it used to give me indigestion.

Then one day I decided that I wasn't going to let this hinder me anymore and forced myself to eat an entire meal in a proper restaurant (McDonald's and Starbucks don't count) no matter how much heart burn and awkwardness was suffered. And you know what, it wasn't that bad. You can do it too (you know, if you have issues with this idea too), here are some tips on how you can do it too.

Bon appetit!
{Erin Out and About} Eating at a table for one
Light lunch enjoyed alone at a museum cafe

1.         Bring a Distraction
This could be a good book, some paperwork, or probably the most popular, social media on your phone. Short of these kinds of things you can always turn  your attention to the people around you. People watching is great entertainment. Create an amusing story line and dialog for an interesting couple; a game my mother and I used to play when I was a kid.

2.         Ask the Waiter for most popular item

then order it. When travelling, this can be a fun way to experience a culture as express themselves  through special culinary dishes. You could very well be missing out by avoiding a dish that's a 'bit different'. By opening yourself up to new foods you just might discover something new and exciting, and even tasty! Yum. The plus side about doing this on your own is that if you don't like it, there's no one there to judge you for being a picky eater. Except the waiter, they will judge you. They're always so judgy.

3.         Order one of everything

As a solo patron this will be unexpected. Cause further confusion by pulling out a small notebook and act as if making disconcerting notes in it after every bite. Chew with purpose. They might think you are a food critic and want to impress! Or a professional competitive eater on training. 

4.         Pretend you aren’t actually alone

Ask the waiter for a second table setting if it isn't already laid out, order food and drink on behalf of your 'friend', chat in hushed whispered tones pausing every once in a while to allow time for your 'friend' to answer. How can one be bored when one can entertain oneself? That's what life is all about.

5.         Don’t Stress
Don't stress about your table for one. Take a moment to look around the room. Notice the people at the surrounding tables. Breath in the smells of your delicious food. Mindfully eat.
But honestly, just relax, no one is really noticing you...unless you are following tip number 4.

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