You've seen her at the restaurant, enjoying her meal in solitude while reading a novel. You've seen him at the theater, settling in with his popcorn for the show. Who are these solitary people? Have they chosen to be alone in public, or do they have no other choice? Could they have invited a partner or friend, but simply enjoy their time alone?
"One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do."
I disagree. I've known loneliness in numbers larger than one, and that's worse; much, much worse. For me, being with others with whom you feel invisible or negligible is a fate fraught with sadness.
I am amazed at the people who go out to dinner or to the movies alone; I have never done that in my life. Maybe it's time I did. I would think it could be exquisitely indulgent to get lost in the moment while treating oneself to a meal or to an evening of entertainment.
Social creatures like me crave company. I do better in small groups, but if there is a larger crowd, I will be more content once I've located my niche in the group.
My life is on a two week cycle with my 16-year-old. For two weeks at a time, my house feels like a home with a family. I have someone to cook for, to clean for, and to take care of. (Sorry about all of those prepositions hanging onto the ends of those sentences.) For the rest of the month, I live alone. My time is my own. I cook and clean when I feel like it.
Part of me has had to face my greatest fear, that of being alone. I'm learning that there are silver linings to be discovered in solitude, and I try to focus on those. I prefer knowing I am alone, and that I control how I spend my time over being lost in a crowd, and not feeling a connection to someone else. I'm glad that my solitude is intermittent, that I can divide my time between being social, and being a loner. The more time I spend to myself, the more I don't want to become so independent I no longer feel like I need people. Being a hermit has never been on my list of things I hope to be.
It will be an adventure to request a "table for one" when I finally decide to check that off my short list. The writer in me hopes to take good mental notes. I'll have to let you know how it goes.