Friday night 7pm. I’m sitting alone at a local bar playing flappy bird on my iPhone. A single woman alone in a large metropolitan area with no one to be responsible to, no one waiting for me with questions about where I’ve been, no curfew.
There’s a block of cheese thats staring back at me and a couple beside me making awkward halting conversation about golf and music. I suspect it is not their first date but the relationship is new. Still painfully polite. They make safe conversation. No ones talking about their failures tonight.
I look up from flappy bird. My high score of two mocks me. The bartender makes polite conversation. How’s the beer? Do you need more? Heck of a thing that Malaysian airline. Time passes. A single gentleman across the bar notices I’m alone. My chair clearly pushed away from the new couple. I give them 6 weeks tops.
The gentleman is going to make small talk, I can feel it. I dig deeper into my game, try to look as though I’m waiting for someone.
I despise small talk. I know it’s the only way to bridge the gap between stranger and conversation, but I’m bored by it. I have no patience for it. Small talk is not real. It’s just like most things for me. I’d rather jump to the good part. I’ve a difficult time with the inbetween. The learning phases.
The moment seems unavoidable.
How’d you like the stout?
I’m too polite to just blow him off.
There’s some chance it might lead to an actual conversation. Risky. Odds are its just going to eventually lead to a point where I’d have been happier playing flappy bird.
I like being alone. Maybe it’s a result of being an only child. Perhaps it’s a consequence of raising three daughters all alone. Whatever it is, I’m happy alone.
Humans are social animals. It probably makes no sense to avoid coupling or grouping. I’ve always had trouble being logical. Certainly at some point being alone wouldn’t work , even for me. But I haven’t ever reached that point. Granted the longest I’ve been alone is. 7 days. Maybe at 8 days I crack.
The couple next to me has made friends with the couple next to them. They seem happier. Like two globs of oil that became one, like the wonder twins. Like two sets of wonder twins they are more together-together.
It’s cool. I’m glad they like each other like making their twosome a foursome. Maybe in the next 6 weeks they will all get together and play spades.
Holy shit. They literally just invited the new couple to go to another bar to listen to a local band. The one couple just picked up the first couple. I don’t get it, but I can’t judge them for liking this sort of thing. The whole situation seems to have helped the new couple appear less awkward. Maybe it takes the pressure off. They all seem a great deal more socially acceptable than me. Crap. Maybe I’ve become anti social. Maybe I’ve got some kind of adjustment issue. Maybe I should try to get in on the conversation. Casually insert myself. Get an invite to the concert. I’m funny. I could do it.
Nah. I like being alone.
PS. Turns out the couple is getting married. They are engaged. Clearly, I’m a horrible judge of character.