One night I found myself in the house, restless. There was a movie I wanted to see but everyone I called either was busy or unresponsive. Then a little voice popped into my head and said, “SG, why don’t you go alone?”
A novel idea when you think of it. In every other aspect of my life I am very independent. I do enjoy my own company but when it comes to events that may lead to an emotional expression–laughter, dance, fear–I feel better to know I have someone who is there sharing the experience with me.
I’m not 100% opposed to doing things alone. Sometimes I find it quite refreshing. For example, I love driving alone. Let it be a nice spring/summer day with the windows rolled down and the right music and I’m in heaven. As for the movies, well I’ve only gone alone once and that was accident. The theatre was crowded and I was late so my date left me but I’d already bought my ticket so I stayed. The film was Slumdog Millionaire. I sat in the front row.
Movies aren’t that bad because you’re in the dark for two hours. No one really know who you’re with. At the end you all file out and your singleness is lost in the wave of people chattering about the film.
Dinner…that’s a whole different beast. Sure, I’ve grabbed lunch. Eating lunch alone is accepted but dinner? Enter any fine dining restaurant and tell the host you want a table for one. Automatically they have created your back story:
She’s probably a career woman, too focused on success and money to have a man. Oh and she’s black too. Hmmm, if she’s dining alone changes are she doesn’t have kids. I’ll try and seat her off to the side so she isn’t an eye sore.
I’ve never been one concerned about public perception. My reason for not dining alone (unless I’m starving and then the selection is more along the lines of higher grade fast food) is to avoid the eye contact. You know what I’m talking about, that sympathetic smile you get from the table next to you followed by their looking for another table setting. When they don’t, they give the “Ahhh, you’re alone” look. When I do eat alone I bury myself in my blackberry, answering every e-mail I’ve ignored for days or pull out a book or newspaper.
Movies and dinner alone is doable but I can not, under any circumstances go to the club alone. Notice I said club, not a party. Party implies you know someone there or will meet up with friends. No, I’m talking about velvet rope, bouncer, cover charge, coat check club. I’ve witnessed some women who’ve gone to the club alone. They’re normally the kind to spark a conversation on line or in the bathroom. Then, for the rest of the night they bump into you and chat it up. What they’re doing is looking for a home base. A group of women they can camouflage in with so everyone else doesn’t know they are there alone. I know what you’re doing. Stop it! Also the clubbing alone chick tends to go extra hard on the dance floor. Her reasoning, “No one here knows me anyway so I might as well show my ass.”
Doing activities alone is commendable. I do a lot of things alone and hate when my friends ask me “Who did you go with?” I’m working up the nerve to get all dressed up and treat myself to dinner and a movie. I’ll let you know how it goes.
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