Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Out To Lunch
The cafe that I dined at was incredibily busy and there were very few seat options. Being by myself I tried to select a table near the front of the restaurant by the windows. As I was waiting for my buzzer to ring, indicating my lunch was ready, I realized I didn't have any way of reserving my table. So when my buzzer buzzed I decided to leave my drink, napkins, and my receipt at the table, hoping this would identify to others that the table was occupied.
Who knew this theory would fall short and the execution pretty much failed. As I meandered through the busy restaurant, I found my plate of food, and quickly zig-zagged back to my little table by the windows. Little did I know, my table had been tagged by someone else. But as I sat down, I set my eyes on my plate and began to 'dig in'. The woman and her kiddos next to me turned around and gasped at the site of me sitting at her table. Note, that this was what I saw out of the corner of my eye, as making eye contact would have created an awkward conversation and I'd probably end up moving my scheduled luncheon with myself to another secluded area (that didn't exist because there were SO many people).
So there I sat eating my lunch and hoping this woman wouldn't talk to me. Yes, I felt horrible, guilty, and awkward while her and her friend, and the 2 kids, try to decide what to do about seats. But I felt confident that I clearly identified my table as occupied while I was getting my food, that I didn't feel the need to send her that message with a snide remark. She hadn't said 'boo' to me yet.
Luckily another table was clearing up to go and they were able to slide two tables together. I felt better but now I was sitting next to them and I started feeling like I was pretending to be deaf. This was supposed to be a fun lunch experience with myself. Instead, I found myself inhaling my food just so I could get away as soon as possible from my awkward situation. For some reason I ended up judging myself for all the reasons I thought were right (at first), and ended up leaving feeling selfish and guilty. My next Out To Lunch experience will have to include (if it's a busy lunch day) a "single's" section or bar area, and I will also need to bring a book or journal so I can be distracted by other possible disruptions.