Eating alone is bliss. While I love sharing meals in a social gathering whether it’s a huge party or a date with my husband, I highly enjoy solitary eating.
It wasn’t always like that though. In high school, eating alone was for pariahs. To eat alone in the canteen would have been a social death, and so I hid in the library till the first bell of the afternoon class would ring. Bah. I was too concerned about image. I knew I was being called a loner behind my back. It was true, but somehow in a high school setting, it was just one of those painful words to hear. Why give the mean girls more fodder by showing up in the canteen alone? Off to the library I would go, sometimes with a sandwich in my pocket.
The embarrassment of eating alone stayed with me till my mid-twenties. High school never seems to end, eh? When I became a workaholic, I discovered the importance of eating alone. I could get my tasks done quicker. No need to small talk with a group. Just eat your sandwich, drink your juice and back to the desk we go! Gone was the awkwardness I associated with solitary eating. It was not, however, enjoyable. Solitary eating was purely functional — to get my job done faster. I hardly remember the meals I ate alone.
I began enjoying solitary eating only a few years ago. Perhaps it was because I no longer cared about being that social pariah. I don’t mind being called a loner, because sometimes that’s what I am. It no longer bothered me that I was the only one in a restaurant seated alone with a meal. My objective was clear — I wanted to enjoy quiet time with myself. It wasn’t a solo meal because I had to rush a project or because I was hiding from mean girls. It wasn’t a solo meal because I had to eat solo. It was intentionally a solo meal. Just some food and wine for me, myself and I.
One of the things I enjoy about eating alone is that I can eat anything I want. The more people there are in a group, the more limitations there are to what you can order. Is someone in the group allergic to seafood? Nix the shrimp dish. Anyone in the mood for pizza? Oh, it’s just me? Well we’ll all share pasta instead.
Coffee time is quiet time.
There’s also the fact that when you’re eating alone, nobody judges you when you get an extra piece or two. I’ve eaten three pieces of chocolate while writing this post and nobody’s around to raise an eyebrow at me and look at my waistline. Bliss!
This was my 3rd small slice of buko pie.
Then there’s just simply the bliss of enjoying what you eat. I’ve got company and my company is food. Me and my cookies. Me and my bowl of steaming hot Sinigang. Me and my glass of red wine. Me and my coffee. I get to know my food more when it’s just the two of us. The more I eat alone, the more in love with food I become.
Chocolate Walnut Croissant during a solitary breakfast.
I spent more than half my life dreading eating alone. Now I look for those solitary meal moments, a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday tasks. I love eating with friends and family but sometimes a loner’s gotta do what a loner’s gotta do. I’m comfortable with who I am now, and food makes me-time simply blissful.