Dear 60ish woman at Hideaway…

Dear 60ish woman at Hideaway eating Ceasar salad, drinking wine, and reading a novel by yourself – – I like your style.

This brings to mind something that I’ve got to ask….

Why are so many women so afraid of walking into a nice eating establishment for a meal by themselves? I know women who would rather drive through a fast food chain place and eat something terrible for them than sit at a table alone in a restaurant.  Or they’ll go without food to avoid the torture of eating alone.

Must women always have someone with them to prove that they are valued or loved? Surely not. What about the feminist movement? We are women, we vote, we run large corporations, we raise families. We can bring home the bacon…we can fry it up in the pan. Heck – we can own the farm that raises the pigs for the bacon — but order it from the server if we’re the only one at the table. Huh uh.

Is it because if a woman is out alone people will assume the woman doesn’t have friends or a partner? Is there dread of having no one to talk to? Is there a fear of being pitied or hit on by strange men? What are women afraid of?

Now I’ve been known to drive through and grab a quick bite, especially if I’m not really hungry but know I need to eat or am pressed for time. But having a meal out – by myself – is within my comfort range as well. In fact, I love having breakfast at a coffee shop alone. It’s good people watching. I almost always have a book with me, and my journal for that matter. So whenever I eat out alone I usually chose a place with good lighting. My time between ordering and meal arrival is spent reading or writing. I consider this well spent time, personal time. Rarely has anyone bothered me, other than to ask what I’m reading or if I know them – to stop and chat.

So here I must ask a few more questions –

Women friends – do you mind eating alone in a public place?

If you do eat out alone, what tips do you offer women who are hesitant so they too can dine out comfortably?

Dear 60ish woman at Hideaway eating Ceasar salad, drinking wine, and reading a novel by yourself – – I like your style. This brings to mind something that I’ve got to ask….Why are so many women so afraid of walking into a nice eating establishment for a meal by themselves? I know women who would rather drive through a fast food chain place and eat something terrible for them than sit at a table alone in a restaurant.  Or they’ll go without food to avoid the torture of eating alone. Must women always have someone with them to prove that they are valued or loved? Surely not. What about the feminist movement? We are women, we vote, we run large corporations, we raise families. We can bring home the bacon…we can fry it up in the pan. Heck – we can own the farm that raises the pigs for the bacon — but order it from the server if we’re the only one at the table. Huh uh. Is it because if a woman is out alone people will assume the woman doesn’t have friends or a partner? Is there dread of having no one to talk to? Is there a fear of being pitied or hit on by strange men? What are women afraid of? Now I’ve been known to drive through and grab a quick bite, especially if I’m not really hungry but know I need to eat or am pressed for time. But having a meal out – by myself – is within my comfort range as well. In fact, I love having breakfast at a coffee shop alone. It’s good people watching. I almost always have a book with me, and my journal for that matter. So whenever I eat out alone I usually chose a place with good lighting. My time between ordering and meal arrival is spent reading or writing. I consider this well spent time, personal time. Rarely has anyone bothered me, other than to ask what I’m reading or if I know them – to stop and chat. So here I must ask a few more questions – Women friends – do you mind eating alone in a public place?If you do eat out alone, what tips do you offer women who are hesitant? var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”)); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-xxxxxx-x”);pageTracker._trackPageview();

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14 thoughts on “Dear 60ish woman at Hideaway…

  1. Amen, sister! I find it so liberating to do things on my own! Eating, seeing a movie, exploring…I like feeling like I don't need anyone but myself 🙂 My tip is to just enjoy yourself and to not care what you may think others are saying. Who cares? Have fun! 🙂

  2. I love to eat out alone. I usually take a book to read or a journal to write in. If I eat alone, I don't have to share my dessert!

    However, like you, I know plenty of women who HATE to do it and would grab a burger in a drive-through instead.

    I say, if you're hesitant to have a date with only yourself, take a book. Make friends with the wait staff member who takes care of you. Pretend you're Greta Garbo, or pretend you're in disguise. Have some fun!!!

    Then later, you can wonder what that little voice inside of you that you're trying to be too busy to hear is telling you…..

  3. I love to go to a coffee shop by myself with my needlework and a book that stays open by itself, enjoy a sandwich and coffee, and read and knit or crochet. Usually at least one person will stop by to say “are you really reading and doing that at the same time?” Around Christmas, I bring extra snowflake ornaments and crochet more as I sit, and I can often sell them all. Or stockings, and take orders. In fact, knitting and crocheting in public is just about the only way I've found to sell my stuff, now that I think about it. Perhaps I should start considering my coffee money to be business capital and not frivolous spending money.

  4. I live in a very small town where it is impossible to do this. You can't even get a soft drink at a drive in and sit in your car and read without someone coming to check on you and find out what's wrong. It's frustrating and one of the things I miss about a bigger place.

  5. I agree Meredith – but then I'll also always enjoy the opportunity to read or journal, especially if someone else is making food and setting it on the table in front of me while I do the reading or writing, and I won't have to do the dishes afterward.

  6. I eat out by myself all the time. My son would rather die than eat out alone and he's in the food service industry! LOL. With or without a book or journal or sketch pad I am very comfortable on my own now. It did take me awhile to be comfortable doing it though. If you want to try it but are nervous, try going to the same place each time and pretty soon you'll feel like it's “your” place.;)

  7. I can eat alone, it took me awhile to feel comfortable, but having a book or knitting works for me. I also enjoy going to the movies alone. Just me and the popcorn and the movie. I treasure the time alone.

  8. Not only have I never had a problem eating out alone, I never even knew many women did until I was in my late 20s. I was enjoying lunch at a diner and noticed an attractive, well-dressed woman probably in her 80s watching me. When she got up to leave, she stopped at my table and said, “Excuse me…are you eating alone?”, and when I said I was, she got a huge smile on her face, patted my shoulder and said, “Good for you!!! I was never able to do that until I was in my 60s!!”

    I remember thinking the experience was neat…but weird. I never thought twice about eating out alone and never knew anyone else did. I think this is one of those things I missed because of being primarily raised by the men in my family.

  9. Denise, I often find myself eating alone when I travel for work. It's fun to people watch! What I really like to do when I travel is shop alone. If I'm in a big city, I find a good cheese shop or bakery, buy two or three kinds (and usually they have some good salami or cured meats), chat with the cheesemonger/proprietor, then take my prizes back to the hotel for sampling. Because our team is small, I'm usually traveling alone, so I've gotten very comfortable with it. Hey–I'm on an expense account! No way I'm settling for fast food 😉

  10. I have no qualms about eating alone — there's always a book or some knitting to keep me company — but I don't do it often because what I most enjoy about dining out is the time for conversation with nothing interfering. Dining out is a social thing for me. (Besides, how else can I at least TASTE two meals in one sitting?)
    If I'm out alone… I'll eat out alone. And while I'll often settle for the drive-thru alternative, that's far more about saving time than an aversion to eating alone.
    When time is no issue, and money is not a pressing one, I'll happily settle in to a nice chair in a nice restaurant where it's someone else's job to keep my glass full, and to bring me chocolate at the end of my meal.

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