Eating alone at a restaurant. Back in the day, I worked as a Server in my home town. It was my first legit job–you know with training and a W-2 form that my Mom helped me fill out… Those were good times, and I still call my Mom to ask her tax related questions every year haha. Anywho, it was always pretty steady at the JBT, especially during dinner hours, and occasionally I’d have a “party for one” sit in my section. I don’t know why, but every time I had a person eating dinner by themselves I always felt bad for them. In fact, my fellow servers would joke about trying to pair them up with another rando in the restaurant or make sad faces in their direction.
I remember this one lady in particular would come in from time-to-time. She ordered a glass of red wine and brought a book with her. I immediately started the sob story in my head for this woman I knew nothing about: “Man, she must be so freaking bored sitting there by herself–she even had to bring a book!” “WHAT?! Who reads books at dinner?” “Poor thing, she must be so lonely.” Just one assumption, and quite frankly one judgement after another…
Thinking back on it though, I don’t know why I felt bad for her. This woman was pleasant! She smiled and chatted nicely with everyone. She looked calm and peaceful turning her book page-after-page and taking sips of Cabernet Sauvignon in between. She ate her salad like a freaking etiquette teacher too. Seriously, I don’t know how people can eat one lettuce leaf at a time. EVERY freaking time, one lettuce leaf daintily perched on the fork and no sauce residue left on her face. Haha yes, Servers are basically professional “people watchers”, but we had to make sure people enjoyed their food somehow 😉 . Confession. When I eat salad, it’s like a dang hot dog eating contest. At least, a mouth full of lettuce each time, leaving dressing all around my mouth, and inevitably some of it falls on my clothes… Then, a big ole, “AHHH crap!”
Okay but seriously, why did I feel so bad for this perfectly content woman enjoying her meal alone? Plain and simple, being alone was a threatening feeling and I could not comprehend how it could ever be done, let alone enjoyable. Like WHAAAAT? You can be completely by yourself and be joyful about it? I honestly didn’t think that was possible. I thought that people who ate alone did it because they didn’t have any friends or they were single or they were miserable even… That’s an intense assumption for random people you know nothing about lol.
Well, here I am 10 years later and what am I doing? I am now that lady eating alone, enjoying a book, and a refreshing glass of substituted sweet tea (let’s get real… it’s because they don’t serve wine here lol). Now, I get the chance to ask myself all of those questions I used to assume about other people and my answers are ironically the exact opposite of my previous opinions. I’m not lonely at all, instead I chose to come here alone to sit with my self, have a moment not to have to talk to anyone, and enjoy some food. And yes, I did not order a salad on purpose haha. I’m definitely not bored either lol, the little girl at the next table over is playing peek-a-boo with me and her mom keeps embarrassingly telling her to stop. Calm it down Mom stranger, I think it’s adorable and welcome the laughs from your baby girl! And I forgot to mention, she has the best red curly hair ever! I did get one assumption right though. Yes, I am single and no I don’t have too many friends here yet. The reasons for those are not how I thought they would be either. It’s not always easy for me to be single I’ll admit, but I’m also not miserable with it either. Yes, I go through seasons of wanting someone to look at me with awestruck eyes and tell me I’m their person. The seasons do come where I long to not be single, but then they also go, because I know God is taking his time introducing my love to me and when it happens I’m sorry for all the love my hopeless-romantic-self is going to be twirling all around the earth… Just saying, you’ve been warned lol. The friends thing well I just moved here a few months ago, so the friends are on their way too.
The fact that I, Jaclyn Ramey am saying those words and actually meaning them is incredible and really a little miracle for me. I never thought I would be this person, in this place, and I never thought I would turn out to be a joyful lady eating alone at a restaurant… Yet here I sit, and I’m not leaving anytime soon. PEACE motherlovers. I’m out–and probably going to go eat a pumpkin scone.
God, I pray for every girl in the world that has fears and insecurities within her. I pray she knows you God and just how much you love her. I pray she knows that she has the power to overcome her darkest thoughts and biggest battles, because she has you to fill her where she is weak. God let her know that you are stronger and you will fight for her!
Psalms 46: 5-11
“God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Jaclyn Ramey, aka The Beauty Coach