I’ve been meaning to write this for a while now. A few months ago, I left work for lunch and went to Jason’s Deli. I like Jason’s Deli. They have a salad bar and you can pay for it at a little kiosk by the front door. In other words, you can avoid the line – and even better, you can avoid the people. Or so you would think.
I quickly paid for my overpriced salad and squeezed past the man in a business suit, who watched me (in awe) as if he’d never seen a kiosk or a self-checkout at Walmart before.
“That pretty neat, isn’t it? How you can pay on there,” he gestures toward the machine.
“Yeah it’s pretty convenient,” I respond, now squeezing past an older lady standing at the register simultaneously holding a child (who must be 6 years old) and digging through her purse that could probably fit said child inside.
“Oh, honey your hair is gorgeous.”
“Thank you,” I politely respond, with a smile.
“I can never get mine to grow that long,” she continues, “Mine is so fine. Like baby hair. And thin. Oh – it must take you ages to blow dry.”
“Yeah, it’s a blessing and a curse, I guess.” I casually laugh and continue down to the end of the line and grab the tray that is waiting for me with an empty plate and a water cup.
I prepare my salad and wait behind a tall blonde girl with an iPhone glued to the side of her face. She laughs at a joke someone tells her and leans on her hip, still holding onto the ladle for the balsamic vinaigrette that I’m waiting for.
I wait patiently, as I have an unlimited amount of time for lunch. That’s a joke – I totally have a time limit for lunch and this lady is sort of pissing me off. She unglues the phone from her face and reglues it to the other side, “Anyway I’ve already got my food – are you almost here?” I settle on Italian dressing and pick up my tray and search for the smallest table I can find – being a party of one.
I eat my lunch almost in peace. The business man and his friend sit at a table next to me and he leans over, “Wow, you’re already done and I just sat down. I’ll have to try that machine up there someday!”
“Yup, it’s pretty useful!” I smile and walk out. In the parking lot I run into a fellow colleague. We exchange hellos and I get into my car.
When I get back from lunch I have an email from the colleague I ran into. In a nutshell, he felt bad for me because I was eating by myself. 😦 The email was supposed to serve as an open invitation to come and eat with him and his lunch buddy whenever I felt like it. “I know sitting by yourself isn’t fun so just let me know!”
No. No. No.
Sitting by myself isn’t fun. It’s peaceful. What isn’t peaceful is being constantly interrupted when I’m trying to enjoy something I hardly ever get to do – a meal by myself. Where I can stalk people on social media or read a book or listen to music without being interrupted. I don’t mind being alone. I actually enjoy it.
Last weekend I went to BJ’s and had a salad and a mojito on the patio – that’s right, you guessed it – BY MYSELF. And guess what, I was completely comfortable and confident in doing so.
Maybe this makes me kind of anti-social or rude. But doing stuff solo is cool. More people should try it.
I also really wanted to add this in somewhere… DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TRY TO START A CONVERSATION WITH SOMEONE WHO: 1. IS READING A BOOK or 2. HAS HEADPHONES IN.
Not even to ask “Whatcha listening to?” or “What book is that?”
Nothing irks me more.
Ok I’m done. Idk what the point of this blog was.