Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A New First... Brace Yourselves

Today marked a big day for me. No, it wasn't my birthday. Not my anniversary, either. Or any holiday. Okay, so it probably wasn't that big in the grand scheme of things. But something did happen which has never happened before: I ate alone in a public place.

Okay, so that was probably a let down... I probably shouldn't have built it up that much. But to see why this is a big deal, you must understand how I always saw eating alone. Several friends have asked me why I have never eaten/gone to the movies/gone shopping alone. Why? Because this is what I always see: exhibit 1.

Some poor kid sitting at the lunch table by himself while everyone else eats together, makes fun of him, and just generally has a jolly old time. Ah, poor kid. (And it doesn't look like a very yummy lunch either.) Sad, isn't it? Who would want to eat in McDonald's alone when you could pull through the drive through, find a parking spot, and get cozy with your food in your own car? (Actually, who would want to go to McDonald's period? Unless they have the Monopoly game... but that's a different story.) No need to be seen sitting by yourself. With no friends. And a crappy meal. No sir--that wasn't going to happen to me.

So this week at work, the group I usually eat with is out on the road. So I thought, what can I do about breakfast and lunch? The obvious answer, of course, was not to eat in the cafeteria. The best thing to do was to bring my lunch back up to my cubicle and dine there, while tapping away at my keyboard (which is apparently my only friend this week). Exhibit 2.

The one key thing missing here is the cake. I had no cake...

But then I thought about a line from Bride Wars (one of my favorite recent ridiculous rom-com's). Kate Hudson's character asks why they can't run with iPods. Anne Hathaway replies, "iPods are for people who can't be left alone with their thoughts."


Of course, my ish (read: issue; that's what all the kids are saying these days) was not with whether to listen to my iPod or be left with my own thoughts while running. My ish was that I couldn't bear to be left alone at the lunch table with my own thoughts. I somehow felt pathetic just because I was eating at a table by myself (see exhibit 1 to remind yourself why I thought this). So as I was in line to get my food, I made an executive decision: I was going to eat in the cafeteria. Alone. I could do it--I just knew I could. And guess what? It wasn't so bad. It was actually kind of fun to eavesdrop--*ahem*--people watch. I gleaned a few pieces of interesting information that might prove to be useful in the future. And most importantly, I realized that it's kind of nice to be alone occasionally. Perhaps I'll eat in the cafeteria every day this week. Eh, that's a stretch...


  1. Hilarious! I laughed so hard when I watched the movie and I heard that line... I am one of those who love being left with my thoughts!

    Thanks for stopping at my blog!


  2. Haha! I love it, Kel! I have always felt sorry for people dining along ss well. I'm proud of you for taking the big leap!

  3. omg, i have this SAME problem. freaks me out! so glad I had a baby (never have to eat alone again) haha