I was having a conversation with a friend who is a bit older than me and is a pastor and he was telling me that if you think you cannot date yourself then you’re not that dateable (for lack of a better word). Then he asked me “would you date yourself?” then he quickly added “don’t answer that; just think about it”. Though he didn’t want to hear my answer and I’m pretty sure I said it anyway; the answer was yes! I have often been accused of blowing my own trumpet, so do not mind my saying I am pretty awesome! I would date me in a heartbeat! Funny story though I am still single ha ha ha! A little while back I was having a conversation with a friend and I was saying I was going through a period of dryness. This also translates to a dry spell but I avoid using the phrase because it can mean a whole of things in different contexts. So what I meant by period of dryness is that I hadn’t had a date in a bit of a while (read months-I know right, don’t ask). In the course of the conversation I mentioned a book I had read called “The Thrill of the Chaste” by Dawn Eden. I had to mention the title because it has been so long since I have seen so witty a title. I think this book title still takes the cake though “Humble Pie” an autobiography on Gordon Ramsey’s life comes close. Sadly I did not buy Humble Pie but I digress. The Thrill of the Chaste is about; as the author puts it a sexual revolution of a different kind. The gist of it is: everyone is doing it (sex) so go against the current and don’t do it. At some point the author was talking to single women about putting themselves out there. In a sentence she was saying, “Get out of the house!” She said “if you’re reading this book at home get out of the house and read this book at a coffee shop”. She also advised taking a laptop to a coffee shop and surfing the internet, going to a play alone among other things. The interesting thing is this wasn’t new to me. I have gone to a coffee shop alone and surfed the internet. I have had nice lunches all by myself but what is it that was different about what she wrote? I think for me it was finally! someone who endorses spending time alone.
See when I was in university I would tell my friends that I loved to go out to coffee or lunch to nice restaurants alone and I was sadly called weird most of the time. For most people having meals alone is inconceivable. I know people who say they would go hungry if they did not have company for lunch. I used to find that so amusing but maybe it’s because food always had a special place in my heart. I would pick food over loneliness any day. Anyway as much as I found it amusing that some people cannot enjoy meals alone I cannot say being called weird for eating alone did not affect me. With time I found that I would be out for a meal and I wouldn’t enjoy it as much because loneliness would creep in and I would wish I had company especially male company I must admit. Thank goodness I realized I am the kind of person who sometimes needs her space (maybe a lot of the time but I love company still, I really do). I realize I have been this way for the longest time. I have been a reader of lifestyle columns for ages and I remember reading about the independent woman who could do lots of things for herself. Now I know calling myself an independent women is walking on slippery ground because the term has been demonized in all sorts of ways and sometimes with good reason; but I have to say when Destiny’s Child coined the phrase I was sold. A little later probably in high school I told myself that life offers no guarantees that people will always be there for you constantly so learning to be alone would be a good skill to learn. From then on I relished the thought of having coffees and lunches on mi own.
Like I said spending time alone is not new to me but then something about the book made it take a whole new meaning. It started a new phenomenon I’m calling the “me date”. The essence of it is since I think I am so awesome who better to date me than me? Sounds a bit quirky right? Last I checked quirky is charming and that’s exactly what I’m going forJ. It occurred to me that most of the times I had been out with myself I did not think of it as a date with myself and we all know perception is everything. Now with a little more perspective I could not wait for the next time I would go for coffee alone. So I planned it and you should have seen me trying to figure the best day of the week to go. My planner is a witness with dates marked out and cancelled. I figured out the date then I had to pick an outfit. Then I organized how I would make sure my hair was done so I would look really dapper. That morning it wasn’t ordinary soap it was shower gel. To top it off a good book to read landed in my hands just days to the date. I admit I secretly (not so secret anymore) hoped the book would be a good hook for conversation with an interesting guy (tongue in cheek) but I tell you that’s not all I hoped for. It really is true what they say, anticipation is half the fun. Thinking and doing the same things I would if I was going on a proper date created such a buzz of excitement that I counted every day until the date. Then I had the date and it was just tea and a brownie but I savoured every bite of that brownie as it melted in my mouth. I also devoured the book and I smiled and winced even chuckled in equal measure depending on the ebb and flow of emotion the book required of me. I have to say it felt good to be me that evening. When I got home I said to myself “that was nice”. Now as I write this, hours later I have to say “it was epic”. The last famous words, “we should do this again sometime”, come to mind.
It has been said that being alone need not be lonely. I now know this to be true. It is so important to appreciate your own company and to treat yourself well while you’re at it because then you realize you are a gem. When you realize you are a gem then you will be able to say,” I would rather be alone than stand rubbish treatment from someone else”. Please don’t be the character in the Evanescence song whose title I cannot recall who sang “anything is better than to be alone”. I think those are the most heart-breakingly desperate words ever and anyone who even remotely thinks that may not have much future left or whatever’s left may be bleak at best. So do you want to feel good to be you? Put on a different thinking cap, dress up, get out of the house and enjoy yourself (like really enjoy, yourself).