I like to think I'm a pretty independent woman - a woman that can do a lot of stuff on her own. I live alone. I go to movies alone a lot. I show up at parties alone. But, I do have one hang up and that is eating alone.
Last week I was in Napa Valley doing some site visits for an upcoming incentive trip my company is putting together for their top sales employees (I know, hard life I lead). In addition to the four hotels we were scouting, I also had a list of wineries to go view and some restaurants as well since we do a lot of off-site parties during this trip. Since the events department at my company is a lonely group of one (aka just me), I was doing this trip solo.
Looking at hotels and wineries was easy peasy because it's a totally professional part of my job and doing it alone is actually preferable. I can ask the questions I want and schmooze with the sales managers. The restaurants were a whole different story. I only had two to look at that could accommodate a party of our size so I figured I would just go to dinner at the two restaurants and consider that my site visit.
Easier said than done. When I got to Yountville, I was all set to eat dinner at Bistro Jeanty. After my last site visit, I wandered over to the restaurant and walked right past it and went into a local deli and bought a sandwich to bring back to my room to eat in front of the TV.
I have no idea why eating alone has struck such a big nerve with me. Like I said, I do a lot of things on my own and none of those present an issue. But when it comes to sitting down at a nice restaurant and eating dinner by myself, I just can't do it.
The next day I was going to drive into downtown Napa and check out another restaurant but wimped out at the last minute when I saw an In 'N Out and decided to eat there instead. Because for some odd reason I can eat by myself at fast food restaurants but diners or really any restaurant with a waiter presents a problem.
I guess it just boils down to me being embarrassed by the fact that I'm eating alone or fearing that people around me are judging me for the fact that I'm by myself at a restaurant. But with my corporate travel increasing a lot this past year, I really need to get over this fear. And fast.