I found myself at a bit of a loose end on Sunday; I thought I should do something completely different (usually Sunday afternoon is spent in the pub). I would learn how to survive a Sunday on my own, not just survive but enjoy, without the pub. I pulled on my skin tight jeans, threw on my white blouse and scrunched my hair up into a messy bun (in my dreams, that's the stuff Jilly Cooper is made of. Two hours of face painting and a comb over before I'm ready to pull on my high waisted jeans and a top long enough to hide my muffin top).
I walked with a jaunty step (still in chick lit mode) feeling determined and liberated. I planned to pick up the Sunday papers and take myself for brunch. I had it set in my head which paper I would buy, but it appears the early bird catches the worm on Sunday mornings, how was I to know, I'd never taken flight before 2pm. I was in a bit of a quandary as I couldn't possibly give money to the papers that fund hate. I didn't want the local paper, if I read that I may well never feel safe enough to leave the house again. I chose one that I wasn't sure if it did or didn't fund hate. Had a fair idea it didn't.
Feeling terribly cosmopolitan I pootled along to the cafe, newspaper at the ready. My cosmopolitan, liberated, jaunty mood subsided slightly as all the windows were steamed up. I panicked in case I walked in and there wasn't a spare table, everyone would be looking at me. I would be awkward and clumsy and no longer the woman I had dreamed of being. I had no idea how important it was to be able to see through windows before entering a premises.
Good fortune shone down on me and I settled myself into a corner table with my back to the wall. I always sit with my back to the wall if I can. Last Saturday I gave up my 'back to the wall' seat so a man who wanted to watch the rugby more than I did could have a better view. I discovered I had the right idea all along, people insist on touching your hair and stuff when you allow yourself to sit within arm's reach of passers by. As another aside I did say to aforementioned man, "What the hell are you doing on your phone when I gave up my seat so you could get a better view!".
I digress. I took out the magazine supplement, I thought that was the safest bet as it would be awfully inconvenient to gather up a sprawled out broadsheet when my decaf tea and veggie all day breakfast arrived. I observed the other patrons and made some notes. I was surrounded by young families and couples. I convinced myself that that didn't make me jealous or lonely as:
You could stay at home eating breakfast and staring at your phones.
I'm an independent woman of age, happy with my own company.
I don't have to sit trying to make conversation until the food arrives.
Going out for brunch seems to be a 'thing' these days. I get embarrassed if I say I've been out for brunch. When I say 'breakfast' they look at the time and correct me, "don't you mean brunch?" What is this fascination with joining two words to make a whole other new word. Brexit. Guesstimate. Brangelina. Chillax. The only good thing about it is the word that describes that process. Portmanteau, beautiful word. I was only there for breakfast lunch because I didn't have any food in the fridge and I was too hungry to go shopping and then go home and prepare it.
I'm lucky really, despite my idiosyncrasies*, that I do have the confidence to walk into a bar or cafe on my own. A good job really, if I didn't I could spend days never seeing or talking to another human being. The moral of my story, if there is one; don't get stuck in a rut. Even if you do the same thing everyday, try and do it differently. You'd be surprised how something as simple as having a pot of tea instead of a teabag in the mug can lift your spirits. Carpe Diem!
*a fairly nice way to describe someone who is frankly a bit odd with a bucketful of anxieties.