Grateful Dad #17.23: The Pure Bliss of Eating Alone

October 27, 2023

Eating alone can be a great source of bliss and joy.

When I’m not with my family, I’ve always cherished the moments when I can eat alone – lunch break at the office, a quick bite in the nearby siomai stand, or even a snack when I’m waiting for my wife. I’ve never been bothered or conscious about it. That quirky habit actually goes as far back as during my college days. Yes, I’m an introvert but I did enjoy the company of select friends. However, since I was following a free or flexible schedule during college, chances are, I’m on my own most of the time and that included lunchtime.

Grateful Dad #17.23: The Pure Bliss of Eating Alone

Grateful Dad #17.23: The Pure Bliss of Eating Alone

Nevertheless, I found those moments to be extremely blissful. I would look for a quiet corner in the old CASAA Food Center in UP Diliman to enjoy the three big pieces of siomai that I bought for P15 each. I would also buy my favorite mushroom omelet sandwich and a large Coke and find a vacant waiting shed or a bench in the Sunken Garden. The UP Main Library steps were also a favorite refuge for me when I wanted a change in scenery.

During those times, I felt joy observing my surroundings and looking at the UP Ikot jeeps as well as my fellow students taking advantage of the break to take a quick stroll (despite the heat of the sun). I thought about mundane things like when I could go home to the province next. I also thought about significant things like academics (how I could pass Math and Chemistry, life after college, how to get rich, and so on).

Why did I like eating alone during those days? Looking back, I think it was because I had full control of my time, what I wanted to do, and what I had to eat. I didn’t have to think about topics to keep a conversation going. I needed not to be in a hurry to finish my meal just because my companions wanted to be somewhere else. Best of all, there were no judgments in terms of the (cheap) food choices I made.

My moments of eating alone eventually waned during my last 2 years in college when I was already taking my major subjects. Just the same, I still relished the after-exams treats that I had in McDonald’s Philcoa during those days – cheeseburger, large fries, and a large cup of ice-cold Coke. That meal was enough to make me happy after many sleepless nights.

Anyway, I suddenly thought about this subject because of the recent funny social media posts that I’ve been seeing lately regarding individuals who were candidly pictured while eating alone in restaurants. Those photos came with amusing captions describing how the subject must be very sad having nobody to share a meal with.

As I read the comments, I found it even more humorous to discover that, indeed, there are people who seriously thought that eating alone was sad, even miserable. Well, folks, eating alone can be blissful. It just depends on you on how you would spend your time being in your lonesome. Again, those “me-times” can be very relaxing, even productive.

These days though I love enjoying a good meal with my family. We would usually go out on weekends and visit our favorite restaurants. Or we would try new restaurants that caught our fancy.

How about you, what are your thoughts about eating alone? Do you think people who eat alone are lonely people? Share your opinions in the comment section below.

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