When I’m alone, I often eat out.
I know. From someone who goes on (and on and on) about food, cooking, baking, the investment of time and emotion and love that goes into the act, you’d think I’d relish the chance to cook exactly what I want, at my leisure.
But that’s the thing, see. When I’m alone, well– it’s not so much that I don’t have anyone to share the meal with or approve of whatever I’ve cooked– I’m not so needy or vain that I can’t make something and eat it myself and say “damn, that’s delicious,” it’s just that– it’s not that often that someone else cooks for me. I have to ask for it when I come home, because otherwise the default is that I cook, and when I do say I’m not in the mood to cook, I’m often asked to suggest the menu. And then I have to wait, when usually the I-don’t-feel-like-cooking vibe is accompanied by I’m-so-exhausted-I’m-past-starving-and-just-subverbal-and-enervated— and so my “anything, really,” is an “anything, really,” and I just want it NOW. But I have to be patient, because, well– I do, for reasons detailed, just not detailed here.
When I am alone, though. I can take myself out with a book, order what I want, and if it’s expensive, well, it’s my money, hard-earned. I get what I want when I want it. And if I am tired, if it’s a bit of an effort to go from my couch to the chair at the bar or the takeout counter and back home if I’m not in the mood for the minimum niceties of saying please and thank you to the bartender or waitress– I’ve still asked for the thing that I want and someone has made it for me when I want it– and then I have the luxury of taking my time and eating it over my book or my Nook or my laptop or just zoned out as I enjoy my whatever-it-is. And enjoy it, I do. Is it something I could have made for myself? Frequently, yes. But that’s exactly the point.