Thursday, March 12, 2009
Table for one
Eating is a social activity. Or should be.
I've traveled a lot on my own, and I can dine solo in a restaurant if I have to. Alone at my table, wondering if I should read or just gaze into the middle distance while waiting for my dinner, I eavesdrop on nearby conversations. Once in Stratford-upon-Avon I overheard the jovial man at the next table tell his friend about a foreigner he knew who was so nice, he found it hard to remember she was an American. "Yes," his friend agreed, "she isn't at all crass and vulgar."
That was interesting, but I would have preferred to share the moment with a friend of my own, even a crass and vulgar American. Without companions (Latin com-, with + Latin panis, bread), eating is just refueling.
David ate at the Au Bon Pain restaurant in the Orlando airport tonight. I had a cheese-and-tomato sandwich on freshly baked whole wheat and oat flour bread. If I hadn't promised to make every dinner during Lent a matter of public record, I would probably have had a bowl of cereal.