I just went out to brunch by myself. The hostess asked me if I would like a booth or a window seat. It was fantastic not being treated like a leper being a single person dining alone. The food was tasty. The experience was pleasant. As I looked around, there were several others sitting by themselves. They were, of course, reading something along with their meals.
I had a thought. Let’s start a movement of interaction! Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if you saw a person sitting alone in a restaurant, cafe or bar, you could walk up and ask, “Would you like to chat?” That person could say, “No, thank you,” or “Yes, please sit down.” If the person said no, the person asking would not take it personally. Some of us are a bit shy in public and would still love having interesting conversations.
Our society does not support us meeting other people without the influence of alcohol, introductions from friends or money spent on some sort of dating service. What if it were socially acceptable to talk to strangers! What if we encouraged and yes, protected, in talking with another without our community thinking less of us. If someone didn’t honor the protocol, the person being asked could simply motion to the wait person and the rude individual would be asked to leave. Some might say that it would be too much responsibility. I don’t think so. It would build community on so many levels.
Oh, if we all had better manners and it were acceptable to engage with strangers. Think how many interesting and lovely people we would meet, what we would learn and how the world would change.