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Featured Is eating alone in a restaurant now a big taboo?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Lundi, Dec 2, 2019 at 2:28 PM.

  1. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I occasionally eat lunch alone. The "restaurant" is typically a fast food place - not a more formal setting like you describe, but I usually bring a book or have my nose in my phone. That indicates to people that I have no interest in them or anything else that's going on in the place - and that gets me ignored and left alone, the way I like.
     
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  2. Lundi

    Lundi Well-Known Member

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  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's true. The technology explosion has essentially gentrified the entire Bay Area. Now a haven for mostly wealthy people, which in the opinion of many locals changed the place not for the better.

    I lived in the Diablo Valley and commuted to downtown SF for many years...finally throwing in the towel in 2008 and leaving the state for good. A decision I never regretted.

    Northern Nevada has none of the pretentiousness one encounters in "the city" (SF). Though in all fairness it wasn't always this way in the SF Bay Area.

    Though with local Nevada politicians soliciting major corporate entities to relocate, it has driven up the cost of living making it difficult for many locals to continue to live here as well. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 1:10 PM
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  4. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I frequently eat alone in restaurants.

    I haven't noticed any judgement from others, but I do sometimes feel self conscious and prefer certain restaurants to others because I feel more comfortable/like it's more acceptable to dine alone. (Local diner I'm looking at you! haha.)

    I have noticed, though, that when I'm not with someone, I sometimes feel rushed by staff. I don't think it's intentional, but I suspect that they feel I'm taking up space that could be occupied by a party of two or more and therefore, make them more money. For example when I eat alone, they'll often bring me the check without asking if I want dessert (I do, often enough.) When I eat with others, they always ask about dessert. (Oddly enough, when I'm with others, I frequently WON'T order dessert, because I'm conscious of others' time. I don't want to hold anyone up by ordering extra stuff.)

    My local brewpub loves me though. I come alone, and eat for three. :tearsofjoy:
     
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  5. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the type of restaurant
     
  6. paloftoon

    paloftoon Well-Known Member

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    It's a good reason to play on your phone in this case, lol.
     
  7. AloneNotLonely

    AloneNotLonely Well-Known Member

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    Snobs? In a French restaurant in SF? No way. I thought they were all eating at the obscure pizza place in Brooklyn.
     
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  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Unfortunately in a social sense, "the city" has changed a lot over the years. Gentrification can do that. Not at all the same place it was some 30 years ago. Quite sad, actually.

    I could say the same thing for where I once lived. Where city planners were seriously trying to emulate the atmosphere of Hollywood's Rodeo Drive. And on the main drag there was a Lamborghini/Ferrari car dealer. :rolleyes:

    Luckily expatriate Californians exiting the state tend to gravitate towards Arizona and Washington more than Nevada. Works for me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 11:30 AM
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  9. WildCat

    WildCat and his scatterbrain V.I.P Member

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    If that's what San Francisco is really turning into, then no thanks. I'm not going to waste money on a trip there to see who's right or wrong. A median home price of over $1 million? I guess a sucker is born every minute...

    Personally, I wouldn't give a rat's tush eating alone, even at a fancy diner, but $60 meals aren't my thing. Teach a man how to fish and he won't have to worry about the jerks complaining about their iPhone 11 and Google Glass or whatever fancy tech.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 12:03 PM
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  10. GrownupGirl

    GrownupGirl Tempermental Artist

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    I'm sure most other people in restaurants don't care if you are eating alone or not because they're too busy caring about whatever goes on in their own lives. And if they do care that I prefer to do most things alone than with other people, that's their problem and not mine. Although I don't usually eat alone in restaurants because my mom and I usually go out together to eat about once a week, and the food is usually too expensive for me to order on my own.
     
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  11. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have eaten alone in restaurants for decades, all over the USA and in other countries. There is nothing different about eating alone in SF than anywhere else except the food is probably better there. No one cares if you're eating alone. I'm a customer, I deserve as nice a table as anyone else, and I refuse to be seated at a tiny little table next to the kitchen door. It's just not a big deal. Get over it. As other said, take a book or something to read and ignore everyone around you.
     
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  12. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Maybe it's matter of what's considered staring. People inevitably look at other people. I look at people all the time, when people walk into places or make movements nearby or make any sudden sounds--pretty much anything and people look at each other. Maybe self-consciousness is amplifying this normal looking into staring. Also, accidentally making eye contact with strangers is awkward and sometimes makes it feel as if staring has taken place.
     
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  13. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    In the final analysis I don't think it matters what others think. It's about what you think- and more importantly how you truly react in that scenario. Where you're either oblivious or uncomfortable.

    If it makes you uncomfortable, then don't do it. If not, then bon appetit.
     
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  14. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    Urgh yeah, there's nothing more awkward when someone turns around and makes eye contact the moment you happen to glance in their direction, it feels like the must think you've been staring at them for ages :expressionless:

    It's easy to think that everyone is paying you far more attention than you think, after all everyone is the center of their own world and it is normal to over inflate your idea of how important you are in others eyes, but in reality 99% of people are too absorbed in their own lives and internal musings to care much about what anyone else is doing. This sort of self consciousness took me quite a while of therapy to break out of.
     
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  15. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Good points. That would make an excellent subject for a separate thread in itself. I know in my own case I've always had that nebulous but annoying degree of self consciousness that inhibits me when I'm by myself.

    Something that can potentially transcend just about any venue, apart from only dining.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 3:31 PM
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  16. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    I can’t help but feel that Lundi has misinterpreted the situation. You can’t watch two people through your peripheral vision only. He would have had to have looked at them a few times, and I think they noticed this. It doesn’t make any sense that someone would be disturbed by a person dining alone. I mean, how would their conversation have gone? “Francis! There’s a guy a few tables away from us...he’s by himself. Yes, you heard me right: by himself. What do we do?! Should we leave? I’m afraid. I don’t feel safe. Let’s wait and see if someone eventually joins him. Yes, that must be it!—he’s waiting for someone, someone who’s late. Thank god! [five minutes later] Jesus, no one’s coming. He must be a real freak, eating alone there like that. He has no shame! And he’s glanced at us at least twice... Should we confront him? This is getting out of hand. I can’t be in a restaurant with a guy who’s dining alone. I’m 25 years old, and I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life. A guy...eating alone... He’s probably up to no good. I’m starting to feel dizzy. The room is spinning. We need to leave. Now.”
     
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  17. Kirsty

    Kirsty ND

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    That’s enough to put me off dining alone - hardly ever do it, but the thought alone is scary having them try to interact with you.
     
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  18. Lundi

    Lundi Well-Known Member

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    Usually when I eat alone no other diners talk to me. On the rare occasion, when packs of male are eating together in a group next to me, one of them might try to start a conversation opening with, "Hey, you come here often?", "Where you from?" or something similar.

    Experience has told me to not entertain such people, so I usually just not respond or tell them to stop talking to me.
     
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  19. Bellacat

    Bellacat Active Member

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    I just saw a news story about this last week. They said it's becoming more common and more socially acceptable to eat alone in restaurants.
     
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  20. EricD

    EricD Well-Known Member

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    I live alone and eat alone. I don't mind it because I'm never truly alone, because the Sovereign of the Universe is always at my side. He takes interest in all I do & I want to please Him in all I do.