Table for One
Newly single, preparing to move abroad, and learning how to be alone.
Being alone can be an adjustment. I've never really been on my own before. Once I decided I was going to move to a new country alone, I made myself a little list of things I had to be comfortable doing before I move. You can't truly be on your until you're ok with:
1. Seeing a movie alone.
I've always been a movie buff. I'd like to think that I have great taste in films. Sometimes the movie going experience can be ruined...I'm sorry...by the people you go with. Why do we go to movies as groups anyways? Isn't the point to sit quietly and enjoy it? Why bring someone to sit in silence with you? If you really want to see something that no one else has interest in seeing, why miss out? So I went down to my favourite place in Hamilton, The Westdale Theatre, and saw 'Sing Street' by myself. It was the second best movie-going experience I've ever had. Only behind, seeing 'Brooklyn' which changed my life and encouraged me to finally move to Ireland. Very close, in third place, is the time I saw 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' in an empty theatre. That was amazing.
So I put on a cute dress, got myself all pretty for my date with myself, and headed to the theatre. Immediately, I felt like I had picked the wrong night to do this... Saturday night. Couples. Everywhere. Ok, I can do this. I got to the box office and said the words "One, please." It felt amazing. I didn't need to have a date on a Saturday night. I'm a great date. I love Irish film, I have good taste in music, I like popcorn. This was the perfect date night for me. To say the least, the film was amazing. I'd recommend it to anyone. It was funny, sweet, charming, and inspiring. I may or may not have teared up at the end. It may not have been the best film for me to see while having anxiety about leaving home, but it was beautiful. I give it all the Oscars. Needless to say, I went to the theatre alone, I didn't care what anybody thought, and I had an amazing time. So if you find yourself without a date on a Saturday night, and there's that movie you really want to see, just go.
2. Grabbing drinks alone.
Drinking at home alone is one thing. It's also kind of frowned upon. Which is something I wouldn't have known until someone said "You drink alone?" Shocker... yes sometimes I love a drink after work or a glass of wine while I sit down and write. Or a few glasses of Jameson while I sit down and write... There's nothing wrong with a little liquid inspiration. So, while heading out to see another movie alone, I had a few extra minutes to kill. The theatre is conveniently beside an awesome spot called 'The Bean Bar' and I can almost always go for a beer. Why not? I went in, and the server asked me "For how many?" I smiled and said "Just one, could I sit at the bar?" She directed me to the bar and I made myself comfortable. During this time I purposely tried not to be on my phone the entire time. "I'm comfortable alone, I don't need to talk to anyone to feel secure, people are in my phone, and people suck sometimes."- I told myself. So I ordered my Guinness and hung out. There were times I wasn't quite sure what to do. I had never gone out alone for drinks before. Should I talk up the bartender? Do I just look into my glass like I can hear it speaking to me, and just confirm everyone's suspicions that I'm a 22-year-old alcoholic with no friends? I looked around to see if anyone was looking at me. Guess what? They're not. No one cares that you're there alone. Nobody thinks you were stood up. Nobody thinks you have drinking problem. Everyone is just there to have a good time, just like you. I finished my drink and the bartender was very tentative to all of my alcohol needs. I've never gotten better service at a bar, than I did when I went alone. Except for maybe that time the bartender was hitting on my friend and I..."Would you like another, love?" Is music to my ears and you will hear it a lot if you go alone. I give this experience five pints!
3. Going to dinner alone.
This one felt the most weird for me. I love grabbing dinner with family or friends, catching up, talking about your embarrassing week. I understand the concept of going out to eat with people because it's a fantastic environment to sit and chat. But sometimes you're out, and you see that all-you-can-eat sushi sign and there's no one around to go with you, and you're STARVING. Everyone else is missing out, I'm going to cross this off my list. So I went into the restaurant. Immediately the waitress asked "For one?" This was a relief, it must not be uncommon to get all you can eat sushi alone. No one wants somebody to watch them eat that much anyways. "Yes, just one." She showed me to my table, and I sat down. Again, great service when you're alone! They constantly came to refill my water and asked if I needed anything. No one was staring at me. I ate so much that I didn't even really realize that I was alone. Sushi is a busy meal , I'd recommend this as anyones first dinner out alone. When all was done, I paid my gorgeously small bill and tipped nicely hoping that the waitress wasn't secretly judging me the entire time. I went home, and never wanted to eat again, but I felt great that I did it alone. And you know what? I ate better than all of my friends that night.
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