Blaming an overprotective upbringing or a stifling institution for instigating a lack of freedom in people would only amount for half the cause. I have to blame the other half on people who’ve snubbed the thought of going to the bathroom without a friend in tow. These people are deliberately idle in their comfort zone, shunning the mere thought of doing anything alone.
In a world where society is attached to social interaction through technology, it is crucial now more than ever to detach our selves from human contact and fend for ourselves through self-reflection. The only way to do this would be to, not so evidently, take yourself out on a date.
I was justifiably arrogant when my teacher presented the aforementioned assignment to my Wellness class junior year. I’d been unknowingly dating myself for years. I always chose to go to the bathroom alone and sometimes I chose to eat lunch by myself. I’ve traveled alone many a times and if I could take long walks on the beach I’d—you guessed it!—do it alone. When I was a freshman I overheard a douche bag (still a douche bag last time I checked), tell another douche bag (I hear he’s shaped up), that he always sees me and I quote: “walking through the hallways like a ghost.” There were two ways to decipher this. A: He could’ve been connoting my milky white complexion. Or B: He thought I was a loner.
If I had to deduce, judging by his douchy-ness, he meant the latter. I wanted to scream: “I HAVE FRIENDS, I JUST CHOOSE TO BE ALONE”. But I couldn’t, because I was a Freshman and chances are it would not have ranked me any higher on the social ladder.
The truth is,doing things by yourself is healthy. And I don’t say that in hopes of retracting my slight lonerism or as a gimmick to, “get to know yourself before you can get to know somebody else.” If you’ve read my article on not caring what people think, you would acknowledge that this assignment can help with that immensely.
My ~documented~ date by myself: Keep in mind I was on crutches at the time so I couldn’t get too creative. One of my classmates went ice-skating alone which I thought was pretty daring. Other suggestions included a concert, the movies, or a picnic.
“I am now in NYC and decided to go for lunch at this awesome deli around the corner from where I work. I walked in and they had barely opened. I asked to sit down and as the waiters looked around to see if anyone else was coming, they gave me a menu.
I saw a couple of the waiters snickering. Maybe I was just being self conscious that I'm sitting with my lonesome self? Either way, there was no one else in sight. I was the only customer there at 11:15 am ordering a big pastrami sandwich.
I was nervous for people to start piling in for lunch, when I realized I wouldn't be fulfilling the assignment till more customers arrived and I got the full experience. An elderly lady walked in and as I held in my breath for the embarrassment I was about to endure I realized.. She was here alone too.
She sat down and waved hi to all the waiters and said: "He's coming soon. I think I'll have a scotch today". " But you usually order the vodka", the waiter replied. " I think I'll change it up a bit today," she exclaimed.
For this woman, sitting by herself eating a sandwich at the local deli is not an assignment. It's a mundane task. But today she changed it up a bit, and I did the same.
Ps- As you might have guessed, no one ever came to meet up with this lady. And it's my assumption, that she says someone's coming, everyday.”