How to Gracefully Dine alone
Dining alone can be almost as traumatic as public speaking for many of us,especially women.
The process of preparing to dine alone, at any place other than fast food,
is a battle of wills, yours against yours.
Visions of what could happen dance before you while you are still deciding where to go and what to wear. Forget about what you want to eat, your taste buds have nothing to do with it.
You just want to go to a place where you can sit, relax, be waited on and feel special. No, you won’t have to clean up and you’ll be the only one eating from your plate. That’s special.
Wait, the host, hostess or maitre’d will ask “how many?” or “Is someone joining you?” or worse “Are you dining alone?”.
To save you from certain mortification, here are some key answers that will lighten the mood: Smile and say “We are one”. Or, with sincerity, say “Someone may join me, but not tonight.” Chuckle lightly and say “I never dine alone, table for one, please”. Discreetly say “Please see that I am not disturbed”. Use any or all of these as the situation warrants.
Ah, but, tables for one are rare. What if they seat you in the middle of the floor, with everyone else walking all around you and you at the mercy of the waiter’s
Just how far is this table and how far will you have to walk to get to the restroom from your table and will anyone notice you’re going?
What will you order from the menu without all around noticing that you don’t really understand the menu (and where are the prices?) without someone noticing the size of the portion, the type of diet you’re NOT on and whether or not you dropped your napkin on the floor, because you forgot you had placed it neatly on your lap.
Once you get past all your apprehensions and still decide to go, you get in the car
and drive past the very restaurant you had planned to dine at and wind up at the diner down the street or a fast food drive thru.
You have once again denied yourself the experience of dining alone. You tell yourself that you didn’t want to spend all that money anyway.
The truth is, you are worth it and worthy of it.
If you are blessed with a certain charisma that turns head whenever you enter a room
take yourself out to dinner and bask in the sunlight of attention, knowing you will be fine.
If you are like most of us, take yourself out to dinner knowing that the only person paying attention to you, besides the staff, is you.
Ask questions politely, complain respectfully, compliment sincerely and tip generously.
Smile, relax and know that you will be fine.