Thursday, August 26, 2010

Table For One

Last week I got to spend some much needed time by myself. My parents had gone away on vacation and my in-laws were visiting. I needed to go to their house to feed the cats daily, and my in-laws stayed with Doug while I did this. I enjoyed nothing more than the drive to and from my parent's house. While I was driving I got to listen to whatever I wanted on my iPod. I got to crank up the music when 'Jump Around' came on and sing loudly and off key to my show tunes. Most of all, I was by myself. I was able to peel back the layers of daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother and illness for just a little while and reflect on who I was at the core.

Before my parents left my mom had promised me that the Monday after they came home, she'd come and take Doug for the day. All week I'd been looking forward to this, salivating over it as if it were a big juicy steak. Finally the day came. My mom promptly picked Doug up at 8am. I had no idea what I wanted to do! Part of me wanted to lay in bed all day, drink coke, eat popcorn and watch movies. The practical part of me (the one I kept telling to shut up) thought that running various errands without Doug would be a good way to spend the day. I decided that I would think about my options and go back to sleep for a while. Well, the realtor decided for me. She called me about 11, waking me up, to tell me that some one was coming by at 1:30 to see the house. I had no desire to be home while some one else was here, so I got my rear in gear and got up. I grabbed library books that needed to go back, Doug's birth certificate that needed changing, a skirt that needed mending, called in a refill to the pharmacy and grabbed my Nook.

I decided that my first stop was lunch. In the fall I'd discovered a brunch place called 'Eggspectation' in Columbia, not far from where I had to take the birth certificate. During my pregnancy I had a horrible craving for poached eggs, but I'd never had them before and couldn't because of the undercooked egg. I've since discovered that I love them, so lunch at Eggspectation was a real treat for me.

Before I was married, I would have been horrified at the thought of eating alone. I'd see people doing it and wonder how on earth they managed to. I've even found that eating lunch out with Doug is awkward. People give me odd looks while I have a conversations with him. Anyway, Monday I decided I was totally over the weirdness of eating alone. I brought my Nook to read and had a lovely time eating all by myself. I didn't have to worry about the next bottle or crankiness. I didn't have to eat while some one tried to throw himself into my plate. It was just me enjoying a nice meal with my Nook. The only not amazing part was how quickly the food and check came. The waitress sensed my unwillingness to leave and told me I could sit there for a while, which I did. Eventually I decided it was time to go and attack my various and assundry errands.

Even though it was a very busy day, it was nice to just be by myself, for a little bit. I'd found a certain kind of zen factor in being by myself and doing things. I didn't have to be anything else to anyone else. I never have regretted my relationships with other people. In many ways, they define who I am, give me my place in this vast universe. However, sometimes its nice to shed a few layers, if only for a few hours.


  1. I'm glad you got some time to yourself! I used to think eating alone was awkward too but I think the older I got, the less I cared. I have been known to eat by myself at the bar across the street from work and I really enjoy it :)

    Hope all's well, can't wait to see you guys!

    PS: Good luck selling the joint! I will send good vibes ~~~~~~

  2. I had lunch out alone for the first time at some point in 2010. I can see clearly the "me" who doesn't understand the concept of it; is scared or would've looked down on it somehow. I can also see clearly the "me" who enjoyed every second of the quiet restaurant, the book (and actual paperback, lol), and someone waiting on me. I can't see it becoming a part of my normal routine, but an escape? it totally beat anything else. And I'm willing to bet it lowered my blood pressure spectacularly. I also think the waitress got a fantastic tip. Total win-win situation.