People create attachments to certain places they go to regularly for all sorts of reasons – to find liveliness, to escape everyday noise and in my case to be alone. I have no problem with being alone at places – I go movies alone, I go the mall/town alone and I also go certain restaurants and happily eat alone.
My favourite of these is visiting a nearby pizza place where I sit reading a book at ‘my ‘ table and drink a glass of red wine and eat pizza. However, a recent event of an overzealous ‘Casanova’ type waiter has now put my standard go-to place for seclusion in jeopardy.
I like going to this place specifically because I am left alone. The manager, waiters and bartenders all know me – they know what I drink, which pizza I want and which table is mine. Most importantly they know not to interrupt me while I’m there – when I’m ready you will know. By now, I’m such a regular I suppose I expect that everyone knows this – I like blocking out the whole world and getting immersed in my book and what’s better with a book than wine and pizza? It’s a total win.
However, after a recent celebratory event with friends which I made a reservation for, said waiter from above not only gave my friend a love-note during dinner but he ALSO appropriated my number from the reservation book and started to send me text messages. Initially I ignored them in an attempt to give the hint that I was not interested without having to come out and SAY anything but since he continued unabated I had to state please don’t message me (and blocked the number). Unprofessional and kind of… stalker-ish?
Granted he is young and seems to have possibly mistaken pleasant exchange of conversation with us whenever he came over to mean more than it really was. But his avid interest (as well as his attempt behind both of us at the same time which is even weirder) has now tainted my space.
Awkwardness, discomfort, embarrassment could all play out in this the next time I go there… Will there be eyes on ME when I’m trying to BE alone? The feeling of violation that my private place might no longer be such, is irksome. It made me think also that we never know why people frequent certain places and why and the attachment they may have to them. While I may just be perceived to be a pizza-lover, it’s not just the pizza I go for – I’m there because ideally I am left to my own devices and can become the shadowy figure lurking among the characters of a novel… enjoying great pizza and wine just happens to be a bonus.
I am hoping that as time goes by my feelings of perturbation will go away and I will be able to feel the sense of ‘quiet’ once more that I used to at this place. If not, will I find another private place that exudes the same allure of an atmosphere that allowed me to be alone?