Dining Alone Can Be Fun

woman alone3

I realized today that eating out alone isn’t always just eating out alone. Sometimes it can be downright entertaining.

I’m a meat-and-potatoes girl/woman/old broad and a new steakhouse as just opened in our city. Because I am a table of one, I don’t like dining out during peak hours. Seems rude to make others wait while I’m taking up space meant two or more. And, I am not a sit at the bar kinda gal.

Anyway, today I decided to treat myself to a late lunch at the new establishment. This time I went prepared and brought my Kindle along. I’m an avid people watcher and can watch complete strangers for hours on end. I find this highly entertaining, but I’ve noticed the watch’ees quite often begin displaying signs of paranoia and, whenever possible, vacate the vicinity as quickly as possible. Thus, my Kindle… and sweats. Yes, I went out to eat wearing sweats. I don’t care. I’m old, I’m by myself, it’s cold outside and I’m comfortable.

I strolled into the restaurant and was, as usual, asked how many were in my party. I understand the reason behind the question, but some days I just want to say, Forty-five and watch them scramble to make space. Then sit in the midst of all those adjoined tables alone for 15 minutes and when the waitperson stops by for the fifteenth time, shake my head and say, I don’t know what I was thinking. It’s just me today. Today was not a snotty attitude day, so I smiled and told her it would just be me.

Per my request, I was shown to a quiet booth and immediately approached by my waiter asking what I might like to drink. I requested water, he handed me the menu and quickly disappeared. In a flash he returned with my water, a delicious looking loaf of cheese bread with some sort of spread I can’t describe and a huge smile. I had barely had time to open my menu, so with a smile in return I asked for a few moments to peruse their many choices.

As I checked out the menu, I was aware of people walking past my table, but paid little attention to them. The restaurant was hardly empty, even at this hour of the day, with many of tables occupied. Making my decision, I set my menu on the table and commenced slicing into that wonderful loaf of bread. I’d not had a chance to spread the spread when my waiter reappeared with a sweet smile, asking if I’d made a decision. I ordered a char-broiled sirloin with red wine sauce on the side, mashed potatoes and a salad. Usually I prefer a baked potato with my steak, but had heard their mashed potatoes were excellent. He smiled, said he would have my salad right out and poof, he was gone again.

I took my Kindle out of my purse, planning to read while I ate my bread and awaited my salad. Again, I was aware of people walking by my table. Finally I looked up and realized the walkers were not patrons, but the restaurant staff. I do believe that every single staff member, from the hostess, to the waiters, to the chef, to the manager himself, found an excuse to walk past me. Each one of them smiled and said hello. Boom, my salad arrived with a flourish and a smile. I must admit, I didn’t care for the salad much. It had some sort of foreign (foreign to me, that is) substance in it I didn’t like the taste of. As I nibbled on the leafy parts and watched the staff peaking at me, it dawned on me what might be going on.

The restaurant opened just a few days ago and is brand new to the city. In walks this old broad, alone, in sweats, no makeup, a little on the quiet side and pulls out a Kindle. Is that an IPad?? Oh have mercy, now she’s on her cell phone. Crap, she’s a food critic! (could have been, Crap it’s an old lady, alone, in sweats and no makeup!). I prefer the former of the two. 

I decided to play this one to the hilt.

Putting on my serious face, I pulled out my cell phone, placed it on my lap and proceeded to text my daughter. This was way too comical not to share, right? Boom, my meal arrived with another huge smile and is there anything else I can get you? Once my smiling waiter departed, I picked up my fork and got a small portion of the mashed potatoes. I put them in my mouth and slowly savored the taste before I swallowed (they were delicious). I paused for a moment, and went back to my cell phone. I then cut a piece of steak (done perfectly, might I add), and with a serious expression, chewed slowly. Again, savoring the delicious flavor. Then again, pretended to go back to my cell phone. The parade of staff, and peaking of other staff members never ceased.

I am happy to report I was not hounded while I ate. How often do we go out to relax and eat a meal we did not have to cook, only to be constantly pestered by our waiter the moment we shovel food into our mouth? Wait for it…wait for it…okay now! “How is everything?” we are asked sweetly as we try to chew a load of cauliflower. They do this on purpose, you know. It’s in the training manual.

That never happened at this restaurant. I was allowed to enjoy every bite in peace. Only once did my smiling waiter approach me and I was not chewing at the time.

When I finished, I slid my plate back and in the blink of an eye my dishes were picked up and my smiling waiter asked if I would be interested in desert.

I had heard their chocolate cake was to die for. Knowing I was way to full to take more than a bite or two, I ordered a slice of that cake anyway (and a to-go box). A few minutes later, deeply engrossed in my book, a voice caught my attention. Looking up, I saw that before me had been placed the biggest slice of chocolate cake I’ve ever seen. It was gargantuan. A behemoth slab of cake. At my table stood the manager, who’s grand smile never faltered when I screeched, “Are you kidding me!?”

That sucker was six layers, 14″ long (tall, before it was cut and laid on it’s side), 4″ thick and 4 1/2 ” deep. Two pounds of cake! I did not read the part that said it would feed six people. Silly me. Anyway, the manager, the wait staff and all nearby patrons got a real kick out of that one. And, even after talking a table neighbor into taking a hunk, I still have enough cake to clog the arteries of my sister, her family and half of her neighborhood tomorrow night.

By the time I headed home, to-go box in tow, I’m pretty sure the staff had decided I was not a local food critic after all. Then again, maybe critics do flip out from time to time and frantically take phone photos of outrageous food items while maniacally laughing.

Posted in Dining Out, Family, Hope, Humor, Life, Life. Isn't it Grand!, Love, Men, People, Uncategorized, Women | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

One More Day

woman alone2

I heard a song today that I haven’t heard in years. While beautiful, back then I could not truly relate to the lyrics. Today though, hearing those lyrics brought me to my knees. What would I do if I were granted One More Day with my husband? To wake and see him smiling at me, arms open wide to envelope me in one of his great big bear-hugs.

Most certainly I would pray for time to crawl. No, I’d want it to stand completely still. There would be no television, no radio, no phone, no dogs (maybe later), no interference whatsoever. I would sit on your lap, arms wrapped around you tightly and yes, I would tell you I love you at least a million times. We would laugh. We would cry. We would hold hands again.

Finally after these long unbearable months, I would be able to tell you how sorry I am. So, so sorry for you that you had to leave, so suddenly and without warning. Heartbreakingly sorry for myself, that I – your wife, your lover, your confidant, your very best friend – had to tell them to let you go. As my heart shattered yet again, gripped in the fist of loss, agony and guilt, you would kiss me and hold me and thank me for doing exactly what you asked me to do should the unthinkable happen.

Oh how we would talk. For hours we would remember when? through our years together, with smiles, some OMGoodness I can’t believe we did that(s), laugh-out-loud I’m going to wet my pants laughter, probably a few tears… and not one regret. None. We would talk about our children. The stunts and pranks they pulled as kids. The gray hairs we sprouted during their teen years How very proud we are of each and every one of them, the men and women they have become. How precious and beautiful they are and have always been.

Later, much later, our peace and quiet would be loudly interrupted by the excited barking of our little girl-dogs. Dad’s home, it’s time to play! Especially Mia. Such a Daddy’s girl. Bless her heart, she’s been patiently waiting all this time for you.

As the sun began it’s brilliant descent into dusk, we would leash the girls and hand in hand we would all take one last walk together…

walking dog

I dream of seeing you again.

Even though it would leave me wishing still

For one more day with you.

What if you were granted one more day with a loved one who has passed away? How would you spend it?

Posted in Death, dreams, Family, Hope, Life, Loss, Love, Marriage, Men, Uncategorized, wishes, Women, Writing Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Crazy old bat behind the wheel

road rage 2

Nowadays it’s just me and my dogs. While adorable, my girls are not the best conversationalists. They are patient listeners though, and have yet to break into a chorus of howls. But, some days I really miss human interaction.

So, while perusing our city’s highways and byways , I talk to those sharing the road with me. They don’t hear me of course, but that’s beside the point.

I have a confession: I have become a mouthy driver.

I just don’t understand why can’t people drive as sensibly as I do?? <wink>

For example:

Turn signals. Gee, thanks for the warning, Dude! Oh wait, you bought the model WITHOUT  blinkers. 

Fast lane. Seriously? Don’t hop over here and slow down! MOVE IT!!!

Posted speed limit.  Aww come on! They don’t mean it!!… Or…. It says 45, not 43!!… Or… Pedal those legs baby, lets GO!!

Yellow light. Now that was just dumb! It JUST turned yellow. You don’t stop! The groceries are all over the place, my bread is squished, something rolled under the seat… That was just dumb! 

Red light. OH that was close!!! Oh my Goodness!! PEOPLE, red means STOP!!!

Stop signs. [speaking to the student behind the wheel of a Drivers Education vehicle]. You’re turning, I’m not. I’m going. Or Not!!  Don’t they teach you this stuff anymore??? Yo, Instructor, put the iPhone away.

Interstate merging. Oh, I hope you know how to merge. Please know how to merge. Okay, Really?? They’re doing 75. You’re going 40?? That is NOT merging, lady!!

Pedestrian crosswalk. HEY, did you not see him standing there?? What is wrong with you people? It’s okay darlin’, you can cross now. Take your time. There you go.

While my conversations are so quiet only someone inside my car can hear them and anyone outside looking in would think I’m just a crazy old bat talking to myself (Hmm, apparently I am)… I have no excuse for my behavior. I really need to find another form of entertainment while I’m driving. Maybe I’ll try singing along with the radio. Off key of course, but oh well.

Posted in driving, Family, Humor, Life, Life. Isn't it Grand!, Men, People, Roadrage, Uncategorized, Women | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Hot Yoga Anyone?


I am not an exercise buff. I admit that freely. And, I have worked too many years to get my body in the shape it is to ruin it now. These sags and bags are mine. Why mess with perfection?

Thus, I have no first-hand experience with Hot Yoga (I thought it was something edible). My dear sister recently attended her first Hot Yoga class with her husband and daughter. Apparently father and daughter attend this class on a regular basis and finally talked my sister into trying it. I don’t believe she will be going back.

A few days later this ‘ad’ on Craigslist (author unknown) was forwarded to me. I hope I don’t get in some sort of trouble for re-posting it here. I thought of my sister when I read it and hope you guys enjoy it. Note: If this post is a re-post of a post I didn’t know was posted, I apologize:

Yoga mat for sale. Used once.

Yoga mat for sale. Used once at lunch hour class in December 2009. Usage timeline as follows:
Register for hot yoga class. Infinite wisdom tells me to commit to 5 class package and purchase a yoga mat. I pay $89.74. Money well spent, I smugly confirm to myself.
Open door to yoga room. A gush of hot dry air rushes through and past me. It smells of breath, sweat and hot. Take spot on floor in back of room next to cute blonde. We will date.
I feel the need to be as near to naked as possible. This is a problem because of the hot blonde to my left and our pending courtship. She will not be pleased to learn that I need to lose 30 pounds before I propose to her.
The shirt and sweats have to come off. I throw caution to the wind and decide to rely on my wit and conditioning to overcome any weight issues my fiancée may take issue with. This will take a lot of wit and conditioning.
Begin small talk with my bride to be. She pretends to ignore me but I know how she can be. I allow her to concentrate and stare straight ahead and continue to pretend that I don’t exist. As we finish sharing our special moment, I am suddenly aware of a sweat moustache that has formed below my nose. This must be from the all the whispering between us.
Instructor enters the room and ascends her special podium at the front of the room. She is a slight, agitated Chinese woman. She introduces me to the class and everyone turns around to greet me just as I decide to aggressively adjust my penis and testes packed in my Under Armor. My bride is notably unfazed.
Since I do have experience with Hot Yoga (4 sessions just 5 short years ago) I fully consider that I may be so outstanding and skilled that my instructor may call me out and ask me to guide the class. My wife will look on with a sparkle in her eye. We will make love after class.
It is now up to 95 degrees in the room. We have been practicing deep breathing exercises for the last 8 minutes. This would not be a problem if we were all breathing actual, you know, oxygen. Instead, we are breathing each other’s body odor, expelled carbon dioxide and other unmentionables. (Don’t worry, I’ll mention them later.)
It is now 100 degrees and I take notice of the humidity, which is hovering at about 90%. I feel the familiar adorning stare of my bride and decide to look back at her. She appears to be nauseated. I then realize that I forgot to brush my teeth prior to attending this class. We bond.
It is now 110 degrees and 95% humidity. I am now balancing on one leg with the other leg crossed over the other. My arms are intertwined and I am squatting. The last time I was in this position was 44 years ago in the womb, but I’m in this for the long haul. My wife looks slightly weathered dripping sweat and her eyeliner is streaming down her face. Well, “for better or worse” is what we committed to so we press on.
The overweight Hispanic man two spots over has sweat running down his legs. At least I think its sweat. He is holding every position and has not had a sip of water since we walked in. He is making me look bad and I hate him.
I consider that if anyone in this room farted that we would all certainly perish.
It is now 140 degrees and 100% humidity. I am covered from head to toe in sweat. There is not a square millimeter on my body that is not slippery and sweaty. I am so slimy that I feel like a sea lion or a maybe sea eel. Not even a bear trap could hold me. The sweat is stinging my eyeballs and I can no longer see.
This room stinks of asparagus, cloves, tuna and tacos. There is no food in the room. I realize that this is an amalgamation of the body odors of 30 people in a 140 degree room for the last 55 minutes. Seriously, enough with the asparagus, ok?
140 degrees and 130% humidity. Look, bitch, I need my space here so don’t get all pissy with me if I accidentally sprayed you with sweat as I flipped over. Seriously, is that where this relationship is going? Get over yourself. We need counseling and she needs to be medicated. Stat!
150 degrees and cloudy. And hot. I can no longer move my limbs on my own. I have given up on attempting any of the commands this Chinese chick is yelling out at us. I will lay sedentary until the aid unit arrives. I will buy this building and then have it destroyed. I lose consciousness.
I have a headache and my wife is being a selfish bitch. I can’t really breathe. All I can think about is holding a cup worth of hot sand in my mouth. I cannot remember what an ice cube is and cannot remember what snow looks like. I consider that my only escape might be a crab walk across 15 bodies and then out of the room. I am paralyzed, and may never walk again so the whole crab walk thing is pretty much out.
I cannot move at all and cannot reach my water. Is breathing voluntary or involuntary? If it’s voluntary, I am screwed. I stopped participating in the class 20 minutes ago. Hey, lady! I paid for this frickin class, ok?! You work for me! Stop yelling at everyone and just tell us a story or something. It’s like juice and cracker time, ok?
It is now 165 degrees and moisture is dripping from the ceiling. The towel that I am laying on is no longer providing any wicking or drying properties. It is actually placing additional sweat on me as I touch it. My towel reeks. I cannot identify the smell but no way can it be from me. Did someone spray some stank on my towel or something?
Torture session is over. I wish hateful things upon the instructor. She graciously allows us to stay and ‘cool down’ in the room. It is 175 degrees. Who cools down in 175 degrees? A Komodo Dragon? My wife has left the room. Probably to throw up.
My opportunity to escape has arrived. I roll over to my stomach and press up to my knees. It is warmer as I rise up from ground level – probably by 15 degrees. So let’s conservatively say it’s 190. I muster my final energy and slowly rise. One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. Towards the door. Towards the door.
The temperature in the lobby is 72 degrees. Both nipples stiffen to diamond strength and my penis begins to retract into my abdomen from the 100 degree temp swing. I can once again breathe though so I am pleased. I spot my future ex wife in the lobby. We had such a good thing going but I know that no measure of counseling will be able to unravel the day’s turmoil and mental scaring.
Arrive at Emerald City Smoothie and proceed to order a 32 oz beverage. 402 calories, 0 fat and 14 grams of protein — effectively negating any caloric burn or benefit from the last 90 minutes. I finish it in 3 minutes and spend the next 2 hours writing this memoir.
Create Craigslist ad while burning final 2 grams of protein from Smoothie and before the “shakes” consume my body.
Note to self – check car for missing wet yoga towel in am.
Posted in Excercise, Life, Life. Isn't it Grand!, Marriage, Men, Women, Yoga | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bah Humbugging It

After much discussion, ‘the girls’ and I have decided we’re just not in the mood.


No ornaments stuck on a tree

Bah humbug 5

No indoor facility  

bah humbug

I don’t see the point

bah humbug 2

Of dressing up the joint

bah humbug 6

When it’s just the dogs and me

bah humbug 3



I do wonder though, is anyone else out there feeling the same way? Or, am I the only one?


Posted in Christmas, Dogs, Family, gifts, Humor, Life, Life. Isn't it Grand!, Marriage, Men, Pets, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award


A big thank you to ZNJAVID – A Mom’s Blog for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! If you haven’t already, I urge you to visit her blog. What a warm and inspirational writer she is!

The rules forwarded to me are as follows:

1-Provide a link and thank the person who nominated you.

2-Answer 10 questions.

3-Provide links to those nominated blogs and kindly let the recipient know they have been nominated.

The ten questions and their answers are:

1-Favorite Color: Red

2-Your favorite animal: Two actually – horses and dogs (am I disqualified for two?)

3-Your favorite non- alcoholic drink: Coffee with half-n-half

4-Your favorite pattern: All designs in the stars of the night sky 

5-Do you prefer giving or receiving presents: Giving

6-Your favorite number: 4

7-Your favorite day of the month: Every day I wake up

8-Your favorite flower: I love them all

9-What is your passion: Reading

10-Facebook or Twitter- Facebook

And the nominees are (I didn’t see a nominee limit)…

suzjones – It Goes On

CJ – A View From Under The Prep-Room Table

Me – Who Am I

April – Finding Beauty in Spite of Myself

tric – My Thoughts On a Page

M E McMahon – Grandma Says

Great Big Hugs to all of you!!!

Posted in Awards | Tagged , | 5 Comments

I Saw A Man Today




I saw a man today.

I forgot how to breathe.

He had your nose.

He wore your glasses.

He had your salt-and-pepper mustache and beard.

He swallowed soda from a bottle and it was your swallow.

I saw a man today.

He wasn’t you.

I miss you.

Posted in Death, Family, Hope, Life, Loss, Love, Marriage, Men, Women | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments