I had a meeting downtown yesterday, and it ended at 4 p.m., earlier than I expected. I hadn't eaten lunch yet, so I walked five blocks in the sweltering heat, dodging slow-moving bovine tourists, to one of my favorite tapas restaurants.
I sat at the bar, which was fairly empty. Ordered steamed mussels in a basil broth, and fried calamari with aioli. Yum. Then, after a nano-second of hesitation, I said, "Oh, and a glass of sangria, please." What the heck. It was Friday, after all.
The place started filling up. I noticed that the only women at the bar seemed a tad uncomfortable, tense, even. They relaxed only when their friend/significant other joined them. As I sipped my sangria, I mused, "Why is it that women shy away from dining alone in restaurants, or, God forbid, have a drink alone at the bar?"
I travel about once a month for my job, so I have to dine alone. I could invite one of my sources. But I usually don't. That's because when alone, I have space to think, relax, and eat, without having to entertain anybody or wonder if I have something in my teeth while chatting.
A strange middle-aged man did try to pick me up. Which was awkward, more for him than me. And I got "come-hither" vibes from two others. But that's par for the course. What do you women think? Do you ever eat out alone in nice restaurants? Taco Bell does not count.
For your viewing pleasure: There will be no bikini-clad photos of me on this blog. You weirdos. And I say that with love. :-) I lack the exhibitionist gene, alas. But these gals harbor no such inhibitions.