The other evening, I got it in my head that I wanted a Tom Collins. I put on jeans and lipstick and grabbed my wallet, my phone, and my book. As I waited for the bartender to make my drink, I texted a friend, asking if she’d like to join. No go. So I put my phone away, because that’s something that I try really hard to do, especially when I’m alone or waiting for something. It’s important to be able to just sit and do nothing, right?
I took a few sips of my drink and glanced around the bar. Everyone there was talking to someone else, I noticed, which made me instantly feel weirder. I took out my book and tried to read it, but the bar was too dark, so I put it away and made eye contact with a woman who was drinking something pink and frothy and for a second, I thought she was amicably patting the bar stool next to her, but she was just pushing her jacket down.
As I continued to drink my Tom Collins, it suddenly seemed really big, since I wasn’t getting lost in a chatty conversation. I was tempted to check my email, but forced myself not to. So I paid my tab, and left. “Have a good night, sweetie,” the bartender said to me as I left, and then she sort of smiled at me the way you smile at a mother whose toddler is throwing a full blown temper tantrum in the makeup aisle of Target. It’s a smile that says, it’s ok. No judgement here.
Since that experience, I feel less inclined to go enjoy a drink out by myself. (I also realize that the bartender could have totally just been saying, have a good night, and not at all giving me sad eyes!) But I’m wondering if I did something wrong. Should you definitely not bring a book? Should you sit down next to a stranger and just start up a conversation? Is getting a drink solo different than going to see a movie by yourself? (I’ve never done that, either!) I’d love to hear what you think.
Image from Beirut Prints