I like cooking.
Well, that’s not strictly true. I like eating good food presented well. And it’s a great pleasure to eat delicious, beautiful food that I made myself.
Moreover, I think I’m worth it. I, Bad4, deserve to eat well. So I do.
A (single) friend once told me that she lives on canned tuna and raw vegetables because “It doesn’t pay to cook for one.”
I told her that was the saddest thing I’d ever heard.
She got angry and told me she felt condescended at.
I snarked back that she shouldn’t demand respect from me when she wasn’t giving it to herself. She was a friend I admired and respected and enjoyed spending time with, and I couldn’t believe that she thought she wasn’t worth taking care of except incidentally while caring for a man.
We glared at each other for a while. She didn’t talk to me for three days. Then she came back and said it had nothing to do with any man—she was just too lazy to cook and she liked her tuna, so there.
I said I respected that, because everyone has a right to be lazy if it makes them happy, but I still thought she deserved good food, so she could come over for supper whenever she wanted. We grudgingly made up. She came over for supper.
I see no shame in cooking for one, arranging a plate for one, and relishing it… alone. If you want to share, well, that’s what Instagram is for, right?
Which is why I was pleased to find that there’s an entire book of famous chefs reminiscing about their favorite one-person meals. And offended that the subtitle has the word “confession” in it. Can we please erase the stigma of not spending every moment with another person?
In The Muppets song “Me Party” there’s a line I love:
There are days when all this girl can see
Is a world that’s made for two
And it’s true. Our society assumes a party of two. Everyone makes fun of teenage girls who can’t go to the bathroom alone. But how many grown adults have the guts to dine out alone?
I thought I did, and there are times when I have. But frequently I’ve resorted to reading a book to avoid figuring out what to do with my eyes. You can’t just stare at your food. That seems like bad manners. But looking around at the other patrons seems a little creepy. Sometimes, takeout just seems like a better option.
Which is why I loved this article about preferring to dine alone that an MF sent me. Well, she sent me this article first, but there was a link, so that makes two people who proudly dine alone, and if you add me, well, three’s a crowd, and a horde is a type of crowd, so there are hordes of people who enjoy dining alone, so there.