|My view from my Table For One - I was too embarrassed to ask the waitress to take a picture of me alone at the table. I've never gotten used to dining alone.|
Yesterday I was stood up for a luncheon date. No big deal in the whole scheme of things but to me it was a reminder of how much I hate to dine alone.
Ironically, it wasn't me who called for the luncheon date. It was my friend. "Let's do lunch!" I said "What's a good time for you?" (as I usually do, I am the accommodating one). He said Tuesday. I knew that was his day off although it wasn't my day of but what the hey, I can accommodate as I usually do.
Yesterday morning I sent a text message to him "See you at 11:30." I didn't receive an answer because I know that he sleeps late. No big thing.
Eleven o'clock rolls around and I bundle up to go out to lunch. A cold wave has rolled in.....finally. Actually, I really didn't want to go out to lunch in the cold and also because I had to go to work yesterday afternoon near the same location where we were having lunch, the Rose and Crown Restaurant in Lewes. Two trips into town.....in the cold. I can do that. What they hey.
So I get there and cross the threshold of the Rose and Crown at 11:24 pm. The bartender gives me one of THOSE looks that says "Oh uh, a single diner hogging up one of our tables that could fit more." I know THAT look because in my past I have often dined alone. And the reason for that is because Bill doesn't like to eat out and most of my friends either can't afford to eat out or have something more important to do than dine out with me. Sounds harsh but it is true, trust me, I know from experience. I'm one of those
Anyway, I tell the waiter "I'm meeting somebody." I want to go to a booth but he tells me "Oh no, they seat six." Uh, okay. I've sat at that booth before and been comfortable but God forbid, I wouldn't want him to lose any business. So I seat myself at one of those rickety tables for two out in the open (see above photo).
The waitress comes over. I tell her "I'm waiting for somebody." I order an iced tea. Fifteen minutes later she sashays by giving me THAT look. I tell her "Oh, I'll go ahead and order while I'm waiting." As I said before, I had to go to work yesterday afternoon (at 2:30) and I do like to take an hour nap before I go to work, so I better order now. I sent my friend another text message "I'm here!"
I order their overpriced $11.00 bacon cheeseburger, well done with fries. Fifteen minutes later I get a plain hamburger, medium rare with luke warm fries. Last time I was there I got luke warm fries. I've seen reviews of this restaurant about their lukewarm fries. Must be a speciality of theirs. The fries are good but would be better if they were hot. Oh well.
I begin to eat feeling like Steve Martin in the movie "The Lonely Guy." Remember that scene when he was eating alone in the restaurant? When the disdainful waiter sat him down in the middle of a crowded dining room, every one stopped talking and a spot light clicked on to highlight Steve Martin's character EATING ALONE. That's the way I felt folks, like a lonely, old fool (which I am actually but that's a subject for another blog posting).
Ever eat alone? I'm sure most of you have at one time or another and probably only did it once after discovering how unpleasant it is. So there I was, chewing my medium rare $11.00 hamburger, trying not to make eye contact with the other diners who were obviously pitying this poor soul who has no friends and has to eat alone. I tried to see the humor in my situation at that time but failed to do so. I'm sort of feeling it now though, that's why I'm writing about it.
I was half tempted to ask for a take out box to pack up my $11.00 medium rare hamburger (that I ordered well done) and end my embarrassment. But I didn't want to admit defeat quite just yet. For what seemed like an interminably extra long time, I chewed and chewed on that hamburger (which surprisingly had that nice charcoal taste that I like in spite of the pink middle which I despise) until I was finally finished. I asked for a take out box to take my now totally cold fries home (I can reheat them in my oven at home at taste them the way they were supposed to be served....hot).
The time was now 12:30 pm. Out in the cold again, into my car and the four mile ride home. When I got in the house Bill asked "How was lunch?" I told him "I got stood up but the hamburger was good." I told him that I was going to take my nap which I usually take before I go into work.
Nap taken, got dressed in work drag and off to Lewes again. I arrive at work at 10 minutes to 3 pm, the start of my shift. At 2:56 pm my iPhone beeps. I see I have a text message from my friend who was to join me at lunch. Text message:
"Shoot! I forgot. I'm really really sorry."
Yesterday wasn't a total loss, I got a blog posting out of it. And I'm sort of seeing the humor in it....I think.