No One Wants to Eat Dinner With Me

As I typed the title of this post, it brought back a memory – random thought – of past formal dinners, seated next to strangers, making chit chat.  “So, this is such a lovely event, . . . la, la, la, la . . . yes, it has been a beautiful autumn . . . oh, you have a dog too – what kind? . . .  yes, I work outside my home – I’m a dietitian.

LONG PAUSE.  Diner seated next to me glances cautiously at her plate, stiffens up a bit, and after a longer pause, timidly apologizes for her food choices.  “I don’t usually eat like this.”  (Head drops in shame.)

Oh, please!  I have to go through my usual apologies for my buzz-killing presence.  “I think food should be enjoyed, and I certainly enjoy mine,” I offer.  She looks unconvinced.

When I sat down to write this post, my line of thought was on last night though.  Peter called early in the day to say that he would not be home, so I called a good friend to see if we might be able to go out for a quick bite after work.  No luck.  Alright, I thought, this is a chance to order food from the vegetarian restaurant I love.

Carrying my little plastic bag inside at 7:15, I reached in the dark for the light switch.  I heard the rattle of Stella’s collar in the family room, and then the slow tap-tap-tap of her paws across the wood floor as she moved toward me.

Here is a confession – I do not really like to eat dinner alone.  It feels funny.  I usually eat with Peter.  Candles, home-cooked food, a small glass of good wine, pleasant conversation.  Not a plastic bag – albeit with yummy food! – and an empty house with an old deaf dog who is back on the couch – and back asleep –  after saying hello.  Thank goodness I could at least forego the plastic utensils they offered at the restaurant.

As I set the table for one, I felt a little better.  Real silverware makes such a difference!  I grabbed a match and lit the candle.  I felt a little cozier.  I put my meal on a real plate – “No, I will not eat directly out of the take-out container,” I told myself.  I opened a bottle of wine and poured a small amount into actual stemware.  Now the scene actually looked inviting.

Sitting down to enjoy the meal, I realized I had reaffirmed the value of ambiance. It does affect the experience of eating – a lot.  I must admit that it was difficult to sit and just eat though.  I couldn’t resist a bit of multi-tasking, with the newspaper spread out next to me.  Ah well, at least I wasn’t in front of the TV or computer.

My Dinner Companion


One response to “No One Wants to Eat Dinner With Me

  1. Looks like a lovely dinner companion 😉 I’m so used to eating alone, carries over from my days in college. Now that I live with my family we eat dinner together. But I still love eating alone in front of a good movie!

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