not the same place
All my adult life I’ve popped into restaurants, cafes, bars without being accompanited by another person. yes, ALONE. Iet out in public alone. Somehow I’d managed to miss that this is not something people easily do.
Then Mr. London Street wrote a blog post encouraging his readership to eat alone. He mentioned that this doesn’t instantly appeal and may be stigmatised. At first I was baffled. What is this stigma? Why would someone not want to eat in a restaurant alone? I thought, poor chap I wonder what is wrong with him to make him think and feel like that. Then his readers comments showed he was describing something they recognised and understood. A shared experience for many, though not all, of them.
If eating alone in restaurants was once difficult for me, I’ve forgotten it. I have noticed how being a lone customer in a restaurant has changed over the decades. In the early 1990′s staff would show me to a seat out of sight, towards the back of the restaurant. As if a woman eating alone in a restaurant was indeed stigmatised. In those days, with my mobile phone, book, and note pad I was happy with good light, good food and some table space for sketching. Now, in the naughties, I am more often seated near the window, as if the sight of a single woman eating in their restaurant is a positive thing. Still happy with my notepad, handheld, book and now with a digital camera.
I drop by Mr. London St‘s blog occassionally because his writing appears to tap into something that his readers empathise with and admire. He lives in Reading town, but not in the same place I live. He often writes things that his commenters empathise with, but I don’t. Consequently, his writing often makes me feel unique, even special.