I’m back from Boston- the trip itself was kind of disappointing, actually, since apparently no one wants to talk to a young lawyer from a little fellowship in Chicago when representatives from the biggest fellowships in the country are sitting at the tables surrounding her- but it was a nice change of scenery at least.

The weather in Boston was beautiful while I was there, and I arrived about 2 hours before I had to go to my event. I was STARVING, so I wandered over to Newbury Street and got a table at a little outdoor patio to eat something. As I was waiting, three other groups entered the restaurant, got seated, received bread from the waitress, and received drinks, (one group even received their order) before anyone came over to my table.

Is this a phenomenon of dining alone? Do solo diners always get ignored because waiters assume they will have small check totals and thus small tips?

I have always admired people, women in particular, who are comfortable in their own skin and can sit, fabulous and confident, at a bar, nursing a martini, not a care in the world. (Admittedly, I mostly see these women in movies and on television, so maybe this is a fantasy?) I’ve been trying to become more comfortable with being alone in places where most people go with friends, and I have to say, it kind of sucks. If the friend I am meeting is running late, I want to feel comfortable walking into the bar, sitting down, ordering a drink, and waiting. But I don’t. The urge to avoid eye contact at all costs leads me to futz with my Blackberry or studiously read the specials list or stare at my hands. Is sitting alone at a bar or restaurant a lost art? In Boston, the combination of being outside, on display in my one-ness, and the waitress who insisted on virtually ignoring me was too much, and I found myself scarfing my salad in 5 minutes flat and beelining it out of there. Does anyone have suggestions for making this less awkward?