Wife Talk: The Fear of Dining Alone

The Windjammer Cafe, Guantanamo

It seems you can find a website about anything these days. If you want a recipe for a clambake, it’s there. You need to buy 1000 wrapped sporks? You can find it. There are even hundreds of sites to look at humorous pictures of zoo animals.

In fact, there are sites that meet every need a human being could ever have. Now, there is one more.

Everyone has seen a woman eating by themselves in a restaurant. There are several thoughts that go through your mind when you see it.  Why is that woman alone? Is it her personality or does she have some sort of fear of bathing? And why did she order an entire family size portion of lasagna, but get a Diet Coke to go with it? She should know that the diet beverage does not counteract the 8,000 calories of lasagna she is ingesting.

Now, though, someone has created a website that will prevent these judgmental glances in the future. On Invite For a Bite, women can log on and find a dinner buddy, replacing the weird glances from strangers with weird conversation with a stranger.

As a man, I have no such issues. I don’t care who watches me shovel food down my gullet. I am too busy chewing to notice, plus I’m usually done eating in five minutes or less. To get some perspective, I have called on my wife to help explain this phenomenon.

Nathan: Why are women afraid to eat by themselves?

Nathan’s wife: I don’t know. I don’t sympathize with them.

Isn’t that kind of sexist of you?

I’m a woman. Would I be sexist against my own gender?

You might be a self-hating woman.

No.

I guess they might be self-conscious and imagine more people are paying attention to them then actually are. They are either very narcissistic or self-conscious.

Which would be better: eating by yourself and having strangers stare and point at you the whole time or eating with a stranger that may be the most unpleasant person you have ever met?

Eating by yourself, by far. Then you can leave whenever you want and don’t have to make up an excuse

If you really have to eat out and you’re that worried about it, just order in.

Let’s say, hypothetically, your favorite restaurant does not take to-go orders. You have to eat there. At the table next to you, there are a group of people who are loudly saying things like “LOOK AT THAT LADY EATING BY HERSELF! SHE MUST BE FRIENDLESS AND INCREDIBLY UNPLEASANT TO BE AROUND!” Since they are clearly watching you eat, what do you order so as to limit the judging?

This is about ordering?

Yes.

And I’m concerned about being judged in this scenario?

Yes. You are very self-conscious because you didn’t have time to take a shower today, so you look a little gross.

Salad, maybe?

It’s a Thai restaurant. They don’t have salad.

A soup? They have a lot of soup in Thai restaurants.

Fair enough. Now, you have received your soup and these people are staring at you every time you take a… bite? Do you take bites of soup?

Slurp.

Every time you take a slurp. What do you do to make it look like you do have a life and aren’t just a homeless woman eating soup in a Thai restaurant?

Check your phone a lot. Play “Words with Friends” so it looks like you’re really busy.

There’s no cell service. And they know that.

Now you’re just being ridiculous. What restaurant has no cell service and why would everyone know that?

I can’t answer that.

Yeah.

I have to go do laundry. Leave me alone.

 

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8 thoughts on “Wife Talk: The Fear of Dining Alone

  1. Your wife is a very smart woman Nathan. You should listen to her. I agree and think that you are overanalyzing the whole “woman eating alone” thing. I guess so are the people who set up the website where you can eat with a stranger. Also, the women who use that website. Moral of the story…just listen to your wife.

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  2. I don’t have friends where I currently live so for more than 3 years I eat alone in a restaurant/fast food for lunch at work. I’m a lady but don’t care if people are looking at me, I do choose what I’m going to eat though but that’s because I have braces not because I’m self-conscious.

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  3. I have no problem in going to a restaurant and eat by myself. In fact, I’ve done it plenty of times and I don’t give a farthing if people are staring at me or having incredibly stupid thoughts because I’m eating alone. They’re the miserable ones, they have nothing to talk about except the girl who’s dining alone next to them. Hahaha!

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  4. I have eaten out alone, usually after my big Christmas shopping spree. At least with that, I’m too busy taking out the stuff to look at them…probably look like whats-his-name from LOTR holding the ring going “my precious!!”

    Best part about eating alone though I can people watch, eat fast and get out of there…

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