Monday, October 12, 2009

Dining Out Alone

Because of how miserable I felt yesterday, I decided to take myself out for a nice relaxing lunch and some retail therapy today.

I was still feeling a bit wobbly when I got out of bed because I took another Stilnox at 7am to force myself to go back to sleep when I was woken up (and terribly annoyed) by noises of D*'s boyfriend getting ready for work. But I had an appointment for abdominal ultrasound at 11.30am, so I just had to splash some cold water on my face and amp up the blush to look more awake.

Besides, Stilnox is such an old friend by now that an ordinary person who doesn't know me well wouldn't even notice the difference before and after I've taken one (or more), so.....*Shrugs*

I couldn't find anyone to have lunch with me so initially I thought I'd skip lunch and get some takeaways instead, but by the time I finished my ultrasound, it was such a beautiful spring day to sit out in the sun that I just couldn't resist.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but dining out alone is the one thing that I just couldn't do.

It's not so much of the idea of being alone, but rather the awkwardness while doing so that simply steers me away from it. It just feels a little odd not having anyone to talk to, not even the TV to keep you company, when you eat, no?

I used to enjoy doing a lot of things alone - shopping, running errands, flying, studying, jogging, etc. etc.. In fact, I'd even say that I used to prefer to do a lot of things alone since it's fuss-free and so much more efficient.

But watching movie and dining out were the two things that I had never attempted to do alone.

I conquered my fear of watching a movie alone in October last year during one of my petty fights with Bee. I stormed out of our house in KL in a fit of anger and realised I didn't know where to go, so I ended up spending the afternoon watching a bimbotic chick flick all by myself with a jumbo size of caramel popcorn.

So technically, it wasn't by choice. :p

Also, I'm beginning to realise that as I age, I tend to crave for companionship more and more.

So much so that I'm more reluctant to do a lot of things alone these days if I had a choice because of how lonely they make me feel. Does this happen to anyone else? Or is it just me?

Which, of course, led me further and further away from the idea of dining out alone.

But today, something came over me and I decided to take that fear to lunch.

Not while-I-am-waiting-for-someone entrée, not on-a-rush-lunch-break quick bite, not stuff-it-all-in-your mouth fast food, but to walk into a nice restaurant and enjoy a proper meal with no one else but myself, to tell the waiter "no, it's just me." when asked if I'm waiting for someone.

And I did.

I sat in the sun, and had a nice long lunch with a glass of bubbly at a quaint little sidewalk café. All by myself.

It felt a little uneasy at first, it was something that I wasn't used to. I held on to my phone tightly, constantly having the urge to call someone, anyone at all, to come have lunch with me.

But after a while, the awkwardness eased off, and I started to notice the crunchiness of the salad, or the tenderness of the meat. Instead of being so self-conscious that I was eating by myself, I started to pay more attention to appreciate the food in my mouth and the ambience of the restaurant.

And you know what? It wasn't that bad.

As the matter of fact, I can genuinely said that I really enjoyed the quality time I got to spend with myself, which I'm afraid I have forgotten how to for quite some time now.

But of course, being a newbie and all, I was fashionably armed with a glossy copy of Vogue and my mobile phone. Haha.

Cut me some slack, will ya? It was my first time afterall. :p

After lunch, I felt so smug about my little "accomplishment" that I went dress shopping to reward myself.

I fell in love with a gorgeous flowy coral dress in the window of a unknown boutique, but they ran out of small sizes. I tried on another similar dress of the same colour, but it just wasn't the same.

I'm usually not one to be drawn to bright or striking colours, but that particular coral red rosette dress was just too lovely to pass on. It hits all the right buttons and the colour compliments my skin tone really well, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the owner will manage to source another one in my size as he promised to. Keep yours crossed too, people!

Upon leaving the boutique, I passed by the discount rack and spotted a silky spring dress with floral prints. I tried it on and it fits me like a glove!

The material might feel a little cheap if you look up close, but it's really soft to touch and it's such a sweet little dress for a warm day in spring or summer. Besides, it's nearly 40% off!

The weather in Melbourne is back to wintery and gloomy for the next few days, so my new floral dress will probably have to sit in my closet for a while before I get to wear it, but hey, summer will eventually come and from what I heard, it's not that far away. *Smiles*

Having Korean hot pot with friends for dinner tonight, just the right kind of food to warm up a chilly weeknight!

My first attempt to dine out alone wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, but at the end of the day, I guess I still prefer to have company when I eat.

But at least after today, it's safe to conclude that though it isn't my favourite thing on the menu, it's now something that I'll consider ordering from time to time.

So kudos to me! *Grins*