Sunday, July 22, 2012

Table for one

My few days of holidaying on my own have been a real learning experience. I would consider myself a very independent person
Feck it, I have no choice but to be!
but I still found myself out of my comfort zone on a couple of occasions.
I had no intention of sitting in of a night, I didn't come all the way to Turkey for that! But surprisingly enough I found myself rethinking my wardrobe. Now, I would consider myself a classy-sexy dresser
as opposed to slutty-hoe
but a few outfits were postponed until later when I have company with me.
I blame my personal stylist Gok as he advised me, as a big busted woman, to wear a deep-V top to flatter my figure. I never noticed before but some of the items were a bit too deep-Ved for my comfort!
It's strange the things that stick in your memory.About ten years ago we were on holiday in Egypt.  We went out for dinner to a restaurant.....as you do! Sitting on her own at a table, right in the middle of the dining room was an elderly lady. I found myself glancing over at her several times during the meal.
In a totally non-lesbian way, I hasten to add.
It's just that she was incredibly beautiful, in a non-botoxed way. Yes her face was lined and wrinkled, but she had such poise and grace that you couldn't help but look at her.She was wearing one of those colourful scarves, wrapped around her head in the manner of Elizabeth Taylor. She wasn't arrogant or snooty, but she just seemed so relaxed and comfortable with her own company, while sitting alone in a world full of couples and groups. You could see that she wasn't apologising for existing!
I must have been too obvious because at the end of my meal she caught my eye, smiled and beckoned me over. I nearly had a heart attack.
Feck it. She's going to take out a restraining order on me!
I sat down opposite her and said the first thing that came into my head
"Hello"
I find that usually works well!
I ended up having the most fascinating conversation with her. Everyone has a story. She was Dutch and her husband of forty years had died the previous year. They had always planned on going on a round-the-world trip but didn't get to do so. Now she was doing it.....ON HER OWN!
I complemented her on her bravery and said that I wouldn't have the guts to do that, much as I would love to. She said that the thing she had found most difficult at first was going into a restaurant at night time. It wasn't "the done thing."
 But she had come to realise that single people have to eat too and shouldn't be confined to room service! She refused to cower away in a corner table and  always positioned herself in the middle of the room. That way she always had company.

 I went to Izzy's for dinner tonight.Its one of our favourite watering holes and I know all the waiters there.
"Would you like the table there at the back or the one right on the street side?"
My inner coward was screaming
"Sit at the back. You don't want people thinking you're one of those desperate women on the hunt for a young Turk!"
My role model popped into my mind.
"The outside one please."

I sat down and channelled my inner "Egyptian" lady.
Don't apologise for being here. Be confident and poised. You'll be fine!
And I had a great night. The women at the neighbouring table struck up a conversation. They were Irish and we had the usual dilemma
"I'm sure I know you from somewhere, and not here."
So I went through all the places it could be
"Raharney, school in Rochfortbridge, Carysfort College, Leixlip Musical and Variety Group, Abu Dhabi, Mullingar?"
Nope!
I then said
"People have mistaken me for Janine Butcher, if that's any help!"
Thankfully it wasn't that either. So we are still none the wiser.

The waiters were run off their feet but I'm convinced they had a rota to sit down with me for a few minutes, check that I was okay and then dash off again.
And at the other times I sat and people watched. The stories I made up about the people who passed by my table. There is definitely a novel in there!
The night passed and no sleazy scumbag saw me as a desperate woman on the pull.
I obviously have to be in a graveyard for that to happen!
So today's lesson is
Nobody puts Baby in the corner!

Having said all that, I'm so looking forward to my Mum and two sisters arriving here later today!

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