I do stuff on my own a lot. Never had an issue with going to a movie on my own, or out to dinner. Must be only-child stuff. I’m more than happy to entertain myself. But it seems to make other people uncomfortable. Take last night. Was craving sushi. Called my usual sushi buddy, she was busy. Wondered if I could be bothered to make conversation with anyone else and decided, no. so pottered down the road to my favourite sushi joint.
Waiter: Hello madame, table for-?
Me: it’s just me
Waiter: are you expecting anyone else
Me: nope, just me.
Waiter: [blank stare]
Me: I’ll just take that little table in the corner
Me: Windhoek lite please
Waiter: is that a coke lite?
Me: um-no, a WINDHOEK lite please
Waiter: um, ok
That little waiter fumbled and stuttered his way through the next 50 minutes, while I read my book, noshed some outrageously good sashimi, rolls and roses and generally wondered why I’d made this poor boy so desperately wriggly. He wasn’t a novice, I’d seen him there before. He wasn’t overwhelmed by my charm and stunning good looks (that much, anyway). And he certainly wasn’t a bone fide ejit like I said, I’d seen him in action before, all cool and collected.
So what was it about a lone, beer drinkin’ woman that unsettled him. Did I upset his understood order of things? Did he think he had to talk to me? Did he feel sorry for me?
And he’s not the first one. Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve had such a noticeable reaction. (There was that one time a couple kept leaning over and asking if I would like to join them.) But why is it that I can’t enjoy an evening in public, on my own, without someone thinking I’m in dire need rescuing?