“How many?” The hostess asks me, looking around.
“One,” I reply, proudly, swinging around my big, fat, errr, wallet.
This scene has been playing out a lot for me. Being on the road for work, you have to just embrace the eating alone lifestyle. And I have to say, it’s quite nice.
Maybe you think it looks weird. Maybe you’re self-conscious about being the only person in the joint without someone to dine with. And yeah, I’ll admit it looks pretty anti-social, like fucking Steven Glansberg. And when you’re on the road for work, sure, you could stay in your hotel room and order room service. It’s essentially the same as Seamless, which we all do practically every night, anyway. Won’t blame you if that’s your speed limit. You do you.
But word to Big Bird? I think you’re more of a lunatic if you stay in your hotel room and do the room service thing than, say, venturing down to the hotel bar, or taking a stroll around the neighborhood, firing open Yelp for the dope eats around you.
I used to sheepishly sidle up to the hotel bar and try and hide in the corner. I’m by no means an introvert. Quite the opposite actually. So the thought of eating alone like the mutants over at table nine used to freak me the fuck out. But I’ve been on the road a lot, and I don’t really have a choice, save for whipping out the back pages and paying an escort a few hundy bingo dingos to sit with me. So I just went for it, sat alone. Took it for a spin. And after I gave it a try, I was hooked.
Now? I strut my fine ass up the hostess demanding the best seat in the house. Because eating alone at a restaurant is frickin’ enjoyable.
Everyone likes restaurants. If you don’t, you’re missing your amygdala. Restaurants are pure heat electrical fires. Being waited on hand and foot? Having someone deliver you wine and a hot meal? When you think about it, the restaurant was essentially invented to make you feel like a king of the county, queen of the castle, lord of the manor. So, when I’m eating on the company dime, why the hellll would I eschew this opportunity to stay in my room like Quasimodo?
I wouldn’t. You wouldn’t. So now, we’re eating at the restaurant alone. Now what?
Literally anything, and that’s the point. What an amazing reprieve it is to have the whole entire restaurant at your disposal, unbound from the shackles of company. Your date for the night is completely up to you. A great novel? Your Twitter feed? Maybe you throw on an album as you dine. (Last night I rolled with the beautifully written Plans by Death Cab for Cutie).
I’m not saying I don’t like company when I eat. Far from it. But once and a while? It’s fucking pure bliss to still get that five star experience without having to listen to someone else’s shitty stories. I can just sit there, zone out, and just enjoy the shit out of the restaurant. If I want to stare blankly at the game on the TV? Guess what, I can do it. If I want to stare at my phone instead of talking to you? Guess what, I can do it. Tonight? I’m sitting next to the ocean here in Santa Monica, crushing some pinot grig with a few ice cubes, big ‘ol piece of wild caught fish, and typing out some lava flames content for you freak-a-leeks.
Are we going to want to make a habit of this dining alone mumbo jumbo? No, because I’m not a social outcast. But once and a while when I’m on the road for work? Frickin’ love it. Give it a shot..