The Stigma of Solo

May 25, 2015

By Maddy Thomas.

 

I get paid to communicate. From the moment I turn my phone off flight mode in the morning, to the moment I turn it back on when I go to bed, I am 100% connected. I am totally reachable via email, Facebook, text, Instagram, Twitter, or my blog, and I answer upwards of 50 phone calls a day. By the end of the day I am all talked out, so unsurprisingly my go-to pastime is doing anything while not talking to anyone.

My idea of bliss is sitting in a restaurant with a fresh copy of Vanity Fair and a large steak, solo. I do this often enough that I have it down to a fine art. I order a diet coke and crack open the cover, then I order seared scallops for my entrée whilst reading what Graydon Carter has put together for me over the last month. I get stuck into the first of the issue’s features as my medium-rare steak with wilted Asian greens and red wine jus seems to melt on the table before me. Sure, I’ll exchange polite chitchat with my server, but for the most part I am blissfully left in my own company.

Everything is peachy keen until I inevitably lock eyes with the female half of a couple, or a pair of kindly older ladies. They either shoot me the “don’t worry, the right one is just around the corner” look or stare at me like they can’t quite believe that a single person would eat dinner alone at 8pm on a Friday night in a fancy restaurant. Up until recently I had assumed that this sort of reaction was reserved for single females only, yet tonight my gorgeous male friend (who staunchly refuses to marry me) had a similar experience as he attempted to eat his body weight in dumplings, unaccompanied.

A little while ago I excitedly told my girlfriends about the great Thursday night date I had been on, one that consisted of several icy cold glasses of champagne and a movie in Gold Class. As I was professing my love for the tiny, delicious sliders I had ordered, the girls enquired as to who had taken me on this dream date, and almost laughed me out of the room when I explained that it was a solo date. “You took yourself on a date to the movies? That’s so sad!” they giggled, as I stared back with annoyed confusion. I couldn’t (and still don’t) see what is wrong with enjoying an evening in ones own company. Apparently a quiet night at home watching movies and tanning is fine, but taking your single self to the streets (or anywhere out of the house) is a no-no.

We need to change this attitude. If I’m basking in the glow my own company (and not sobbing/trying to drown myself in a steaming bowl of wonton soup) I want people to think, “look at that legend”. If I’m strolling into a movie with a jumbo box of popcorn I want people to think, “look at that single lady, just puttin’ her popcorn laden hands up” because that is EXACTLY what I am thinking about myself, that and the fact that I don’t have to share my jumbo popcorn with anyone. I make good money; my weekend life is one of leisure and zero fucks- a fact that does not change with the addition or subtraction of a man-friend. I can buy my own fancy cocktails, and I don’t have to worry about anyone grumbling, “you’ve already had three”, or “can we go now?” or “if you don’t get off that table, I’m leaving”.

So the next time you see my or anyone else’s fabulously single ass relishing our delicious sole investment- ourselves- celebrate that shit as much as we are. I’d take comfortable silence over stilted date conversation any day.

 

 

 

 

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