I like to go out to lunch alone. It’s always a crapshoot on how a solitary guest is treated by the service staff. Sometimes they try to bully you into eating fast, or sitting at a shitty table, or getting your food to go, I don’t budge. When I set out to get waited on, I get waited on. In my experience, the deader the restaurant the worse you get treated. I went to a predominantly empty restaurant (with no dress code) in my neighborhood and the hostess asked “Do you have a reservation?” with the undertone “Are you sure you don’t want to go home, shower and put some outside clothes on first?” which triggered the wiseass in me.
I wanted to say “I’m not sure if my assistant called, I’m the sole member of the Ladies Who Lunch Alone Club and I’d like to have a meeting here” but I didn’t, I said “No reservation, do I need one?”
The hostess feigned a smile “How many in your party?”
“One but I’ll be ordering for four so if I can get the six top in the corner, I like to have all my food laid out in front of me like a Grecian goddess. Do you have a private party room? Because I’d like to eat in my underwear, it would be reflected in your tip if you can make that happen”.
She didn’t try to hide her disappointment about not having to rearrange the floor plan or make me wait for an opportunity to pay someone to cook for me. “Right this way” she said without looking me in my day old mascara covered eye.
It’s not only the hostess who can exhibit a negative reaction to an independent diner. Sometimes I end up with a waitress who wants to get me the hell off her 6 top in the unlikely event Beyonce and her entourage want to come in and make it rain. A woman dining alone is scary for her, maybe even an eyesore, a foreshadowing. There’s a lot of “are you done with that?” “do you want me to wrap that up for you?” “should I bring you the check?”. I hate being rushed out of a place. I’m like “No, I’m not done. In fact, I’ll have two more fish and chips but don’t bring them to me until I take this dish and whip it against the wall and yell “More food, table 27” that’ll be your cue to approach me. When I yell “More food, table 27” you’ll know I want some attentive service.”
I haven’t had a leftover all year. I go out to eat, I over eat. I order too much food and I eat it all.
I didn’t have three orders of fish and chips, that was just something I said to be funny but I did order a hot fudge sundae. I had to stop myself from lying my usual reason- why-I’m- ordering-dessert-lie “it’s my birthday” but I made a big to do about it when the waitress brought it to the table.
She didn’t like that.
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle.