Friday, May 29, 2009

One Is The Loneliest Number

I was never Captain Confidence growing up, but that never stopped me from doing things by myself. I would go to movies in college ALONE, FSM forbid. My family would GASP when I told them I was going to dinner and a movie ALONE. My sister just couldn’t understand how in the world I would do such a thing and I never understood what all the fuss was about.

I never understood the social dysfunction of doing things like dinner and a movie all by your lonesome, until now.

I realized all this time I wasn’t paying attention.

I am the same guy who when I first went shopping at Trader Joe’s didn’t realize the woman behind me was trying to flirt with me. I not only didn’t realize she was flirting after the 12th time her shopping cart rammed into me, I didn’t figure it out until after I told my wife the story 8 years later and she explained it to me. I don’t think I was paying much attention at all too many things in life, until now.

This last week I stopped at Home Depot on my way back to work to look for water feature supplies. On my way out I stopped to look at some flowers and as I looked up from them, across from me was an attractive woman around my age (yes, over 40) who was not in any subtle manner checking me out. She even tried to make small talk. If I had been 15 years younger I would not have even realized she was standing there.

I was not paying attention.

So now I am paying attention. Some old guy switch has been flipped and I see things I never noticed before.

Today at work due to a serious of unfortunate events I had no car, I had no lunch and I had only the option of work cafeteria food, Chinese food or the best goddamn sushi in all of Reno within walking distance. I came to this conclusion 20 minutes into the lunch hour and as such decided to go (drum roll please, insert gasp here) ALONE.

The lunch event went something like this.

Greg enters the restaurant and approaches the hostess. He is alone.
Greg (speaking to the hostess): I would like to eat at the sushi bar.
Hostess (looking around at the empty foyer):How many?
Greg: Just one.
Hostess: Just one? (pause) Ok, follow me.
Hostess escorts Greg to the sushi bar where a waiter offers to seat him.
Waiter:How many will be dining today?
Greg:Just one.
Waiter (pausing):You are alone? Just one?
Greg:Yes, just me.
The waiter motions to an empty seat at the end of the sushi bar and Greg takes a seat.
Waiter to Sushi Chef:Just one. He is eating alone.
Sushi Chef (pausing):Alone?
Waiter: Yes, just one.

I am almost certain the hostess was checking me out, but there were no grocery cart impacts for me to be sure.


  1. I really like eating lunch alone. I mean, if I wanted to spend more time with my co-workers I would just stay at work...

  2. I did stuff alone for a while also, but it might freak out the father of a future teen-age girl, so I won't tell you what.

  3. Hostess, waiter, and sushi chef be damned! When you're married with child(ren), alone time is like chocolate ice cream for the soul.

  4. I've traveled over the last 10 years, so I've eaten a lot of dinners by myself. No matter if you're male or female the host/hostess/waiter/waitress will always announce 'table for one' several times and loudly. Loudly.

    Because you don't feel alone enough unless everyone else knows it.

  5. 1) At least there was no spotlight.
    2) I always bring something to read when I eat alone, that way I can ignore everyone else.
    3) I had that damn Three Dog Night song stuck in my head all night...