Table for One, Please

tablePhoto: Scott Griffin

A few months ago I had a layover in Baltimore… Although I was alone, I wanted to take advantage of exploring the city for the first time. There was a festival taking place that week, so I wandered down to the harbor to take everything in.

Eventually I worked up an appetite that could only be cured by the best of Maryland’s crab cakes (I had to try the state’s delicacy). I made my way to the far end of the harbor, and found a really nice restaurant with waterfront views. As I approached the host stand, I was greeted with the common “How many in your party?”

When I told them it was just me, I was met with a confused expression. Being completely satisfied in enjoying a meal on my own, I wasn’t bothered by this. I also wasn’t surprised.

I expected to sit down and enjoy my dinner in solitude, but that’s not what happened. By the end of my crab cakes, I had talked to essentially every waiter at the restaurant, along with the general manager more than twice. The first few times I thought of these interactions as polite gestures, but after awhile I became annoyed. It became apparent that a woman dining alone meant to them “please talk to me I’m lonely,” so they proceeded to try and solve my obvious problem.

In my mind, this assumption confused me. I mean that evening I had chosen to leave my hotel and walk into that restaurant. Why was that something to be pitied?

Admittedly, a table for one isn’t something I would’ve always ventured. It used to make me uncomfortable to do anything on my own, so I was constantly surrounded by family and friends. Had it been a year ago, I probably would’ve just ordered room service that night.

However, since becoming a flight attendant my outlook has changed drastically. Because solitude is an inevitable part, this lifestyle change gave me an opportunity to grow. It was so important that I learned how to enjoy my own company, especially as a single adult. After a few trial runs, I even found a desire for those solo adventures!

I would’ve missed so much this past year if I had depended on the company of others. Whether it be a movie at the cinema or a new destination, I can’t escape the pull to experience as much as possible. Clinging onto that is what ripped me out of my comfort zone, and into my favorite version of myself (thus far).

Learning to fly solo has been liberating, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Each time I was approached by a waiter with awkward banter or discussion about the weather, I recognized more the growth this past year has given me. Realizing that (in part) made the interruptions more bearable.

I refuse to exist in a world in which I feel less than whole by myself. So go get your crab cakes, no matter how uncomfortable those who aren’t as brave will feel. Never be afraid to find your own adventure! Besides, an awkward interaction every once in a while is kind of fun. 😉 xo

What sort of experiences have you had on your own? Has anything ever held you back from putting yourself out there? Let’s take on this world (alone) together!

Keep up with Miss All Over the Place here!

10 thoughts on “Table for One, Please

  1. Great post. I travel by myself quite often and have had countless meals alone in countless restaurants. I’ve never experienced the multiple conversations from various staff. I guess that’s because I’m a guy. I never really thought about it. Sometimes it would be nice to have a little attention.


      1. Wow that too in Baltimore. I once made the mistake of going out to dinner at a fancy restaurant by myself and my cell phone was out of charge. So I just sat there quietly and I think 5 different waitresses walked by asking if I was doing alright. I have no idea if this is the norm or not but it was awkward. I usually prefer Panera if I’m alone and without a cell phone now.


      2. Haha so you couldn’t even pretend to be on your phone, that stinks! I think it’s smart to go to places like Panera where you order at a counter, those seem to be more regular solo dining spots than restaurants. But I also don’t like to be limited on my options when I’m alone!


    1. Girl, so happy for all you have experienced! I think it’s kinda funny that you got so much attention, but you’re also adorable, so I can’t blame everyone for wanting to talk to you.
      I love traveling alone. I’m happy with a book and a meal, but depending on the day, sometimes I like a little chat. (Little is not everyone in the restaurant, necessarily! Ha!)

      Keep doin you!
      Sarah from Granada


      1. Sarah, you’re too nice to me! I think it’s important to maintain approachability, but that’s not full-on conversation necessary! I loved the intention, didn’t love the results of my dining experience as much.

        Hope you are having a fabulous time traveling, I would love to catch up (and maybe come see you!?)

        Safe travels!


  2. Next time go to G&M…less downtown hype and near BWI. Absolutely fabulous crabcakes in our opinion and it’s not a big deal to eat alone.


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