Thank you to the most brilliant Simon of Sweet and Weak for contacting me with news regarding a real tragedy befalling this nation….Women Eating Alone (W.E.A. pronounced “Weaaa”). As some of you may know from reading this blog, I am one of the millions of women who silently suffers while Eating Alone. I have many horrible, awkward and horribly awkward memories of being left alone to eat. Decades ago, I was in Paris with time to kill before catching a train. I walked along the Seine singing “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” to myself (not kidding) and then found a little cafe to have my dejeuner. I hadn’t been sitting alone for long, when the owner of the cafe found me another American to sit with because it was too sad to see me sitting alone at my Table for Two, just me and my croque monsieur.
Back to this morning and the eye-opening email from Simon. I truly didn’t realize that mine was not isolated suffering, but shared by millions of women just like me. Women just like me who can’t take the pressure of sitting alone in public eating a meal, let alone sitting in a bar having a drink — knowing everyone is staring and whispering, “I think she’s a hooker.”
In the article Simon sent to me, the author notes “Many even resort to ordering room service on trips”. And she is so right. Years ago, before I had children, I traveled frequently for my job, which was in corporate communications/public relations not prostitution. Time and time again, I would find myself just flipping through the three ring binder usually found on the desk in a hotel room. Initially, I’d try to fool myself into thinking, “I just need to know what time check out is” or “what are the fitness room hours?” But in the end, I’d always wind up on the Room Service Menu page. That’s right, try as I might, I couldn’t do it. I don’t care if I was in New York or San Francisco or Tucson…I was NOT leaving that hotel room to go subject myself to Eating Alone.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, you may be a Woman Eating Alone. Do not despair, there is help available. Simon’s email included a link to this article. The author does a good job providing background and history on the W.E.A. crisis and highlights the efforts of one woman, Cressida Howard, and how she is fighting back against W.E.A (pronounced Weaaa). Ms. Howard has started a website providing support and tools for women combating W.E.A.
My sisters, please do not remain in the shadows of restaurants…come to the table and tell your story.
Together we will stamp out the scourge that is Women. Eating. Alone.