Monday, May 23, 2011

Why you should date yourself

Due to rehearsals being nearly every day and then once the show opens my weekends being packed with Mosley adventure and comedy, I decided I would not sit and idle one of my last free nights away.

I am a chronic diner, meaning I go out to eat so much I think I need to be put on some sort of drug to stop it. I love not having to clean up, someone else doing the prep work, the ability to sit and not have to be surrounded by a swarm of white fur meowing to lick the plate (as I write this a ball of white fur will not cease in her attempts to encroach upon my iMac).

So often lost, in the attempts to please everyone, is what one truly wants. The beauty of dining alone allows for complete control over the evening; something that can be taken with tremendous excitement or crippling trepidation. Since my first evening out alone, I try to treat myself to a 'date' as often as I can, which is sadly, only about every few months.

Something one should not be slowed down by in our modern and progressive society (even in Kansas I will not limit that phrasing - it somehow holds true despite the governor backward cutting of our Arts Commission making KS the only state without a government subsidized arts council, which will be detrimental to our economy... real progressive governor, thanks) is not allowing what others are thinking to slow one down.

Now, just because it is only me does not mean that I do not dress up. Those who are close to me, know that I rarely dress down. Why should a night with me be any different? I got out a beautiful 1940s light blue frock with matching belt purchased at the antique mall, and I set my hair in hot rollers (I would've taken a picture by I did not think about it until it was too late). With myself all dolled up, I slather on my lip stick, grab my $6 antique mall purse and I ventured to dinner with book in tow.

While some may refuse to be seen in public eating alone - here's what I say:

1. I must remind them of how unfortunately insecure and dumb that is. Why shouldn't one eat alone? It us eating, not dancing. You're not on a parade.

2. Admittedly, I used to be one of these people with issues: if I could, my 26 year old self would slap my ignorant and insecure 16 year old self. When I grew the balls and took myself out to dinner for the first time at age 23, I swiftly changed the naive perspective of my youth. I-loved-it. More than loved it, it was the most relaxing evening of my life.

3. Yes, I bring a book, but as a restaurant veteran, I do not sit and camp - book or friend as my companion. By camping, I mean staying for an inordinate amount of time after finishing my meal. Servers need to make money, to sit and take up a table for an extra 30 minutes could mean making rent or not for your server - believe me, I've been there.

4. Take the time to relax! Bring a book or do nothing, but enjoy the atmosphere. Disclaimer said: I have never felt rushed. I dine casually and I leave feeling relaxed and respectful.  I spend the evening relaxing with dinner, wine, service and my book. I eat slowly, read swiftly and drink savoring ever sip. Heaven.

It is upon leaving the restaurant, completely tension free, that I decide to share my experience and advocate to conquer the fear of doing things alone. Shopping, dinner, the theatre or movies, whatever it may be, one should not feel society pressing down to have a companion. It is an opportunity to connect with the things you truly find enjoyable, not compromising anything for anyone for an evening.

I love dining with my family, friends and Brian. But the selfishness that I experience on nights that I take myself out is absolutely the most splendid thing. I recommend to everyone to date themselves at least once and find out what a wonderful person they are.

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