Saturday, July 14, 2007

Things that are better solo

Eating in diners
Diners are a true gem of American culture. The rough-looking waitresses who call you honey when they drop off your coffee, the ring of the cash register, the authentic American menu, the big, flat grills that make everything from pancakes to meatloaf - all of these things add up be quite the experience. I love sitting at the counter pretending to read my book, while actually stealing glances at the cooks as they fry eggs and eavesdropping on conversations between the owners and their regular customers. Yes, diners are a great place to gather with friends - especially perfect for regaling tales of the previous night over the necessary grease to beat a hangover - but I also love flying in under the radar, sitting quietly and observing various slices of life while savoring my omelet and cheese grits.

Going to the movies
Movies that I want to see in the theater become part of my perpetual To-Do list. If it is really something that looks compelling, it will continue to weigh on me until I've mentally checked it off. So, as most with most aspects of my life, if there is something that I really want to do, I don't wait for someone else. I just go. Because the thing is, who's got the time to try to coordinate schedules with another person? And forget about going with a date. When I set aside the time to spend with someone special, friend or otherwise, I'd rather be engaged in an activity where you can actually engage with the other person. Talking is frowned upon at the movies, so as far as I'm concerned, you may as well head off to it alone. That way you can go whenever the hell it's most convenient for you, and you can completely disappear into the world that someone else has created. With a kids sized snack meal of popcorn and candy.

Saturday mornings
I suppose it can be nice to wake up and automatically have someone to chat with, but truth be told, having an overnight visitor sometimes just stresses me out. I prefer to do my own thing in the morning, and to me there is nothing better than a free Saturday. Left to my own devices I'll usually start the day off by reading in bed. Some kind of light exercise follows, lately in the form of a jog and then some herb garden weeding. I'll make a cup or two of coffee and piddle around the apartment tidying up, making grocery lists, and generally reorganizing my life after a typically mayhem-laden week. The Food Network is constantly blaring in the background, so that it can be heard in every room, the theory being that even if I am not a captive audience for every show that I am at least being inspired by osmosis. The time is idyllic, relaxing, and best of all - all mine.

I know that most women shop in packs, and there is definitely something to be said for level of bonding that can occur during these outings, but when there is something that I seriously need to purchase, I'm better off with just me. I tend to feel awkward and guilty making someone wait while I try something on, and need the time to myself to hem and haw over important questions, such as "Do I really need another pair of espadrilles?" or "Wait a minute, how many black V-necks do I already own?" Not to mention the fact that I inevitably end up getting talked into things that I really don't need and shouldn't be spending money on when with a co-conspirator. Important distinction to make here - browsing with someone else is great, but when I have serious shopping to do, it should be on my own time.

So there are a few of mine. Now you tell me - what are some everyday activities that you prefer to do alone?


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