Table for One

“Will you take my sorry?” flowers hand-picked for me by Little T this morning

It was Friday night, and I had an hour all by myself before I was expected at a friend’s ladies gathering.  So, I decided to take myself out to dinner.  Hubby was taking Little T to his baseball game, so they were going to drop me off first at the restaurant. On the way there, we seemed to attract all the red lights, so I teased Hubby that he was making me late for my date!

After Hubby dropped me off in the restaurant parking lot, I suddenly felt a little self-conscious walking into the restaurant all alone, especially since I couldn’t figure out how to ask for a table for one in German! (When nervous, all the German I have learned inconveniently vanishes from my brain).  So, I ended up blurting out to the hostess “Ein Tisch für Mich!” which does translate into “A table for me!” but because the words Tisch and Mich rhyme, it felt like something Dr. Seuss would say.

I had a choice of 3 tables, so I chose the one at the back furthest away from the table with children.   I have nothing against children, but I have had very little opportunity to be without one in a restaurant so I was taking full advantage of no parental responsibility.  Turns out, I became a magnet for the 3-year old girl from the table I was trying to avoid, who immediately came running towards me the minute I sat down stopping right beside me with the biggest smile and giggle.   I politely smiled at her (and how could I not…she was adorable) but when she did the exact routine another 5 times in a row, I suddenly realized I had become the babysitter for this little girl as her parents and others at that table were cheering her on with giggles and claps.  I don’t think so, I thought to myself and pulled out my book and offered no more smile rewards.  Could her parents not see I was on a date?

My server arrives and immediately places a menu in front of me and one on the empty place setting in front of me.  I smiled at her and said “Nur Mich!” (Only me!) and she gave me a sudden look of empathy.   Why would she automatically assume that it must be tragic for me to dine all by myself? If only she knew how giddy I was to finally finish my book while sipping a glass of Chardonnay without having to hear “This is sooo borrrrrring! When are we leaving??????  I was also giddy because asparagus season just started here in Germany and the restaurant I choose also grows asparagus.  The entire menu was filled with asparagus entree features. It doesn’t get much better than that, folks.

My white and green asparagus gratin arrived (oozing with melted cheese, potatoes, baked cherry tomatoes and pine nuts), and as I with immense pleasure ate my first white tip of locally grown asparagus, I thought about my friend who every year spends a week in the UK all by herself.   She has two boys and a husband who have absolutely zero interest in visiting museums, attending the theatre, or eating out in restaurants.  So, off she goes to do all these things she loves for seven days without an ounce of guilt, and is not self-conscious in the least to be doing these things completely alone.  What a brilliant woman.

My hour was up and it was time for me to leave.  I happily paid my bill and as I started walking in the country toward my friend’s home, the sun suddenly burst from the clouds presenting me with a dazzling sunset for my journey.  A full belly, a sunlit sky, and breathing in the fresh air – I was intoxicated with peace.

I plan to date myself more often.

3 thoughts on “Table for One

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