I sat alone in a chilis restaurant in the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. Usually I don’t like eating alone in public settings, but today I had to chose between setting my pride aside and eating alone or listening to my stomach talk to me as I sat waiting for my 9 o’clock flight to New York City.
Inevitably,of course my stomach won the battle.
I placed the menu down at the take out counter, held my head high, and walked towards the hostess’ podium. She asked “table for one?”
I replied confidently, “Yes, table for one”
She led the way to the two-seater table. I followed. As she placed the menu on the table, I pulled out a seat and sat down. I peered across the small table to the empty seat in front of me and placed my bag there. Obviously, I was not expecting a guest. This was simply a moment between me, myself and I. I had to get used to that for the time being.
As I sat at my table for ONE. I did everything in my power to avoid eye contact with the other restaurant attendees. The only pupils I looked into belonged to the sweet and busy waitress. When she left my presence my face returned to the screen of my iphone. I was not doing anything significantly important on my phone, I just used it as a facade to keep me looking busy . I didn’t want to look like a sad loner at my table for one.
I scrolled through my call logs searching for someone to call. I read text messages and replied. At one point, i reached for my blue JVC headdphones and plugged them into my phone.
First, I attempted to listen to music or watch some dance choreography videos on YouTube. But that didn’t work. This always passes the time and maintains my attention.
Then, I went to Netflix to watch my favorite show, A Different World. That didn’t work either.
Finally, I decided for sure Pandora would work. I tapped the app,waited…waited…and waited, for nothing. That was my last failed attempt.
Unfortunately, it was just my luck the wifi access was shitty.
I realized my limited internet access prohibited me from disengaging myself from the world. I unplugged my headphones, set the phone aside and sat patiently for the waitress to bring my food.
Sometimes fear can hold you back from so many opportunities and life changing moments.
As I sat there with my delicious Mexican bowl in front of me filled with beans,grilled chicken, rice, and array of vegetables. I realized fear is created by the mind.
What’s so strange or sad about a woman or any person enjoying a moment with them self?
Nothing at all!
With my phone set aside on the table. I ate my food in peace and watched families interact with one another. I wondered about where they were traveling to or from. What kind of occupations they have?
It made me think of my own family and the family I will possibly have in the future.
As I indulged in the Mexican cuisine I thought and watched. Even made eye contact with a few customers.
Eating alone without the disturbance of a phone wasn’t so awful or terrifying after all.
At my table for one I had a chance to reflect and watch the world around me instead of hiding behind my phone, pretending to be occupied.