Tuesday, July 1, 2008

One is not the loneliest number

So I'm back. Did anyone miss me? This has been the crazy season at work, and warm weather means more outdoor play at home. That results in less computer time.

But enough excuses...

And though I usually focus on my life as a mother, today I'm here to talk about my lunch date: me.

Let me explain something first. I have always been someone who needs and craves alone time. I can become quite grouchy if I don't have at least some time by myself. There is one exception however. I do not like to eat alone. Oh, I can grab a quick meal at home by myself, but I do not like to eat out alone. I cannot really give an exact reason why this is so. I think I feel exposed and on display.

If you've ever seen the remake of Sabrina starring Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford, then you might recognize the following quote:

"You seem to be embarrassed by loneliness, by being alone. It’s only a place to start."

And so today I started. I needed an oil change and lunch, and while the two don't normally go together, our Walmart has a Subway (ah, the joys of modern life). So I bought a book and sat alone and ate. It wasn't bad. I've definitely had worse company.

It was actually nice to be quiet and be an observer. It reminded me of something my mom once told me about when she and my dad were dating. Mom lived in West Virginia with her parents and Dad was living in Indiana with his brother and sister-in-law (so he could get a good job). Dad would tell Mom that he would try to call her on Saturday, so Mom would literally wait by the phone for his call while playing solitaire. Mom and Dad have been married nearly 41 years, but my mom does regret waiting for calls that sometimes never came. She says if she had it to do over again, she would have made Dad promise to call or set a time.

I learned many things from my mom, but I definitely learned not to wait around for the whim of a guy. And I try to keep an eye on what I'm teaching my girls. So I hope I am teaching them that they can be alone and be happy. They are the authors of their own stories, and they deserve to know who they are and to be comfortable enough with that person that they can enjoy solitude.

The character from Sabrina who I quoted earlier also said, "I met myself in Paris." While it is certainly a great deal less poetic, I can now say, "I met myself in a Subway... and the pepper turkey and the company were delicious."