Thursday, January 31, 2008

Eating in Restaurants Alone.

I am pretty cheap. Maybe frugal, thrifty, or economical, are a bit more positive sounding, but either way you have it, I'm cheap. I got a buy one get one free coupon in the mail for Costa Vida. How could I pass up a free meal? Buy one get one half off doesn't really appeal to me, but free does. I couldn't waste this coupon, and because I had no one to come with me, I decided that I would enjoy half of two entrees and save the other halves for another time. Well, I also like to enjoy fresh food. I didn't want to buy the food and risk it getting cold or soggy during the commute to my house. So, I sat in that restaurant alone, by myself. I could have eaten it in the car, but there's no enjoyment in that. I am ok with eating by myself. I've done it before. But, whenever I do, I feel like I am violating some social law that says you should always eat out with a friend.

My sister went to Costa Vida the other week and took her meal all the way home (and she walked) just because she didn't want to eat alone in the restaurant. Back east I am sure you would find that more people do eat alone. At least it is portrayed that way in many movies. I've never been east of Chicago, so I don't really know what it is really like. But I do know that it's a different lifestyle than out west. Whenever I go out to eat, I hardly see someone alone. There are usually at least two people together. And when someone does eat alone, the person usually has work to do. Or, maybe the person brings work so that he or she doesn't appear too pathetic.

Why is it that way? Why does it seem like such a faux pas to eat by yourself? Is it insecurity on the part of the lone eater, a fear that people will think that she doesn't have any friends, that she is an outcast or a loser? Is it jealousy that other people are having great conversations and he is not? It just seems like society has created a norm and you aren't following it. Conformity. Is that it? Lone eaters are nonconformists? Well, maybe I will just have to get some more coupons so I can do a little experiment, maybe take a survey or something. Whatever the case may be, my frugality overpowers any inhibition to eat alone.

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