It was amusing to read this tweet thread about women “of a certain age” enjoying their alone time sitting at a bar, cafe or restaurant enjoying a meal or a drink by themselves.
(However upon later reviewing of how this tweet started, it was because of some scum journalist reporting on one of our news reporters having dinner by herself. They took sneaky pictures and wrote some story of how she was dining alone at a restaurant! As if that was news!).
Well, I just spent a week doing that and it was….GLORIOUS.
Not that I’m saying I don’t enjoy the company of my husband or friends, I do. A lot! However, I also enjoy those quiet times when it’s just me experiencing the situation in my own way. No explanations to others, no other ideas or comments, perceptions or scrutiny of others.
Time to just be in that moment.
One of the things I love now as an older woman is that people leave you alone. You may as well be invisible. Many times people have walked into me.
People cannot see me anymore! 🤣
I’ve always wanted to have the super power of invisibility. I just never thought all I needed to do was get older and have grey hair. It can be a negative to some but in most cases, it’s a positive.
In some way, it gives you the freedom to move about and just do your own thing because no one notices you.
You’re not worried about what others think anymore. You’re not self conscious about being alone or moving about alone. You can enter a shop and have a bit of a look-see before anyone notices. Certainly to younger retail assistants, you’re effectively not even there. It’s made even worse (or better depending on how you think of it) as people are SO distracted with their phones or their own world, that they’re walking around in their own bubble. Anyway, you get the drift.
Before covid when I used to attend conferences, I’d always add more days to the travel before or after the conference to be a tourist in the regions I was visiting. I hated to just fly in and fly out. The conference simply gave me a reason to spend some time to myself in another country and to experience it for myself.
Sometimes, one of the things I’d enjoy was to hang around in the lobby or bar area to people watch before or after an event. I usually ended up chatting with staff anyway or quietly enjoyed a drink at a bar. Invariably, I’d always end up speaking to travellers and having a bit of a laugh if I sat at the bar because it’s a more social area. Whether people viewed me with suspicion, I really didn’t care because there was something empowering to sit at the bar, chit chat with the bar staff and order a drink or a meal there. I think, I had every right to be there.
Eat and drink from wherever I liked.
The same could be said at restaurants. When I was in Germany a few years back, I remember a meal at a lovely restaurant I had chosen to go (I saw it on a walk). It was close to the hotel I was staying at and I walked there on a freezing night. I sat at a table and tried the typical German meal. I had my phone with me but it was useless as I didn’t have internet on it nor did the restaurant have free wifi it. (I basically rely on free wifi spots if I travel or just asking people for directions) so instead, I read the story of the restaurant on it’s menu and amused myself by looking at other diners or chit chatting with the staff. I remember taking my time eating the meal and despite not using a phone or having a book with me, I enjoyed every minute with my thoughts. It was a great way to unwind.
So yes, we can do this and it shouldn’t be strange to see women dining alone.
To some this is THEIR time. Who are we to judge?
Why is a lone female dining and drinking alone making news?