The Challenge: Dine solo at a fine dining restaurant. The rules: No book, no phone.
Now, before I go into how this challenge turned out, I feel I should first tell you what the point of it was. When I told people this is what I was doing, I got a couple of mixed reactions.. Some people thought that this was a great idea and totally be something that I would never do, had I had a boyfriend. Others didn’t really understand it – ‘shouldn’t this be a time where you hang out and go for dinner with your friends? Not alone?’
The point of this challenge was to put myself in an uncomfortable and awkward situation, without any sort of crutch (ie: novel or phone), get through it on my own, and hopefully feel good about it afterwards.
So. The restaurant that I picked was called Dimmi’s in Yorkville. I had never been there before but a friend recommended it, and it was definitely a good choice. Before I go into what happened when I got there, I’ll just say that getting ready to go on a date with yourself is so weird… As I’m in full concentration mode, looking in the mirror and doing my mascara, I just break out laughing! What am I doing?? Hahaha
Once I arrive, it’s pretty much just as you’d expect; the host is looking at me and then kind of behind me, realizes that nobody’s following me, and says “Hi..” That’s my cue. Table for one, please.
This next part is seriously not a joke. He says to me “Where would you like to sit? I can sit you here with my nephew if you’d like, or you can sit a little further back in the dining room” Are you kidding me?! This nephew is about 8 years old, has a million little trinket toys in front of him and is absorbed in his Nintendo DS.. You think I want to sit with him?? I kindly point to the inside of the restaurant, for fear of little Johnny may get his feelings hurt.
Turns out it wasn’t the nephew’s feelings I’d be hurting.. Apparently is was the host, because he sat me right in the corner! Agh, my plan is squashed! Do you know how hard it is to eavesdrop from a corner?? (This was going to be how I entertained myself and passed the time)
Somehow throughout the night, I ended up having 3 waiters.. Not too sure how this happened.. but I think they were overcompensating a little.. Maybe they thought I was a critic? I did have my notepad beside me to jot down some emotions/feelings/things that I experienced so that I wouldn’t forget for my blog.. And I also asked them to take a picture of me (not embarrassing at all) Hmm.. don’t know.
Fortunately, I didn’t get a lot of awkward stares.. Like, people wondering if I was waiting for a date or something – so surprising!
Best Parts of taking yourself out on a date:
· I can eat all the bread I want
· There’s never a silence that needs to be filled
· Instead of them just bringing your main course to you, they ask you if you’re “ready” for it (Common? Not sure.. Don’t do the fine dining thing too often)
· The meal – OMG, if you like Italian food, you’re going to want to check this place out (**I have to admit, I often crave KD, so heed my advice at your own discretion!)
Worst Parts of taking yourself out on a date:
· There’s nobody to tell you if you have food in your teeth
· You don’t have the option of going Dutch
· You end up eating more than normal (There’s not really much to do, so to keep busy, you just keep eating)
Overall, this was a really good experience. As the bill came, I almost couldn’t keep from smiling (at the risk of looking like a crazy person smiling at nothing). I’ve just done something that I would never have done (on purpose) had I had a boyfriend.
It was a weird, awkward, new experience and it was pretty cool. I don’t know how often I’ll do it, but I suggest you try it; just once.