What can you do solo? Can you go out to eat? Enjoy a glass of wine at a patio bar full of people? Watch a movie in the theater on a Saturday night? Attend a concert or sporting event? Normally, I prefer to go to bars with friends, but last Friday that wasn’t an option so I methodically applied my make-up, put on an Audrey Hepburn black dress, donned some heels, and set out on my own. . . .
My plan was to walk to a small neighborhood joint I had never been to before, get a great seat at the bar, and flirt with abandon. Embedded in this plan was the idea that if I accepted the evening for what it was, made the absolute most of it, my good attitude would pay off and I would end up having a good time.
The bar I amble into is tiny. There are three booths, fewer tables, and on this particular night no open seats at the bar. Deflated, I regrouped, sidled up to the bartender and asked, “Is anyone leaving soon where I can swoop down and take a seat? I’m new to the neighborhood and flying solo tonight.”
This man is a professional so he made sure I was comfortable at a seat he saved for me, had a glass of wine in my hand, and began to introduce to regulars. Somehow I began bonding with the twenty-something female singer of the band and also chatted briefly with a woman who was waiting for her date.
The evening felt like a complete success as I placed my debit card in the plether sleeve and prepared to head back. Brimming with a sense of pride for not feeling sorry for myself sitting at home, the card came back declined. The only other plastic I had on me did the same thing. Tonight I was not going to panic—but I only had enough cash to cover my bill and leave a paltry tip. The oh-so-professional bartender accepted my apologies for the lame tip and I set out on my return walk home with a lot less bounce in my step. Relax. Breathe. It’s not that big of a deal. Then I remembered that I had a stash of cash back home. Oh-yeah!
That’s when I saw him.