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Table for 1

Repeat after me “yes, just for 1”!

The Christmas season is coming upon us and I cannot help but get excited for all the activities associated with the festive season. From Christmas markets to Christmas-themed activities. As I try to plan my month and figure my plans, I find myself thinking about the unspoken disclaimer that these activities carry a minimum of 2 person attendance requirement. It is always said that the wintertime is “cuffing season” and that these activities are great “date” opportunities. This immediately makes me reflect on how we tend to categorise activities and hint at disapproval for embarking on them alone.

When you tell someone you are going to a restaurant, their first question tends to be “with who?”. When you say that you are going to a sporting event or a movie, immediately you are asked “with who?”. Then if you ever answer “alone”, an expression of disbelief takes of their face. This usually triggers the conversation where people begin to explain how uncomfortable they are sitting in a restaurant alone or how weird they feel doing something alone. When did we make it an obligation to have someone with you in everything you do. Why can’t I just do something by myself, for myself? If I can pick up my dry cleaning alone, why can’t I go watch a movie alone? It’s not like we are chatting mid-movie or interacting in the slightest. I should be able to take myself to the cinema and watch a movie I have been excited to see since the trailer was released. I should be able to attend a sporting event alone, whether it is because I want to be in my own company or because none of my friends are interested in it. We should not feel the need to have someone in our lives for each one of our interests. What if none of my friends enjoy museums, does that mean I can never go to one? Does that mean I have to force someone against their will? No, it should mean that I can just go myself and feel comfortable doing it.

Do not get me wrong, it is so fun trying new things with friends. If the opportunity presents itself to take someone and you prefer the company, then definitely go for it. However, if you are itching to try something new and no one is interested or even available to join, then go by yourself. We should normalize the comfort of being in your own company. Sitting alone in a café or restaurant should not be anxiety-inducing because you worry about what strangers will think. It should not make you feel like you need to scroll through Instagram to justify that you are alone. It should be okay to just sit in a restaurant, enjoying the quiet and the ambiance of your surrounding and the taste of the wonderful food you have been dying to try.

So yes, you can go to brunch alone, you can go to the movies alone, you can go to a sporting event alone, you can go to an exhibition alone. It is okay to walk into a restaurant and ask for a table for 1 without being impacted by the judgment of the hostess. Do not miss out on experiences you know you would enjoy because you have no one to go with you. Cease every moment and embrace the experience instead of overthinking the fact that you are going solo.

If other people enjoy your company, why can’t you enjoy your own?

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I'm Nadine Shousha, a French Egyptian self-claimed writer who is eager to rant about everyday situations.

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