She sits down in the corner of the room.She’s young and beautiful and the waiter assumes an equally handsome man will join her, and that the young couple would enjoy the privacy. She has this urge to put on an act. To act as if she is waiting for someone. To check her phone, to have a loud conversation with no one on the other end, to sigh, so others think she didn’t plan on eating alone.But she wanted time to herself. She wore her best dress, put on makeup and went out, for herself.
People see her alone and immediately there’s a look of pity in their eyes, they jump to conclusions about her life, they assume her life is, in one word-arid.
Arid: lacking in excitement, interest or meaning.
When the waiter approaches her, she tells him to remove the other place setting and he hesitates. She asks for a bottle of wine, and one glass. More hesitation. Because the truth is society doesn’t understand independent women. Her life is in no way ‘arid’. In fact she’s in a great relationship, has a great job and they are parents to the cutest dog. Yet they find it hard to believe that she enjoys her own presence. Society is unable to accommodate strong women.
The thing is, it isn’t just ‘society’, it’s also smart educated women around her who feel this way. Who feel the urge to keep her company if they see her alone in the workplace, whether it’s at lunch, or in the bathroom.
And one small step at a time, one restaurant, one dress, one person at a time, she tries to create change.
I have experienced this personally, and it isn’t just women. Men are often portrayed this way as well. Being seen alone isn’t a sign of weakness, it doesn’t mean you’re a ‘loner’. All it means is that you’re strong enough to see this, that you realize the real meaning of life is who you are.