I don’t like to eat out alone.
There I’ve said it. I feel self conscious when I sit in a restaurant all by myself. It doesn’t feel normal for me to just sit quietly while I wait for my food. When I do decide to eat out alone (while traveling) I make sure to bring a book with me so I don’t feel so lost. Tonight I was faced with the prospect of walking from my hotel to a nearby restaurant solo, or driving to a take-out type place to bring some food back to the hotel. I ended up opting for the take out. My excuse was that I needed some cough drops to cope with the horrible cough I am stuck with from my most recent nasty cold, but eating in my hotel room just seemed more appealing. I also opted for take out last night, so I have now had Qdoba and Quiznos as my fine dining experiences for the week. I decided I needed more Q’s in my diet. I am not really complaining, I get a daily per diem, so I am much better off financially if I do eat take-out since I don’t have to tip and the food is just generally cheaper. However, it makes for some long lonely evenings sitting in my hotel room.
I have been in this pattern for the last few trips, which seem to have occurred every other week through this fall. I am not even traveling alone, one of my colleagues has been accompanying me on all of these trips. He brings his own food with him from home though, and just eats alone in his hotel room (I presume). He is really making out with the per diem. I’m not sure what food he brings from home, for a while there was talk of Slim Fast shakes and beef jerky, which frankly makes my stomach turn. Is this how you would choose to eat if you were traveling for work? I didn’t think so. Perhaps he needs the extra “income.” Whenever there is talk about extending trips he seems willing, whereas I come up with many reasons why it can’t work with my schedule. Of course this could just be my lack of a work ethic, or more truthfully my extreme dislike of business travel in general and my desire to be home with my children and husband when at all possible.
Even though my kids can make dinner stressful, eating dinner with them every night is one of the highlights of every day. Sitting in my hotel room eating alone is peaceful, but it doesn’t even come close to comparing to a dinner at home (even a dinner I had to cook). I can hear The Boy saying “How was your day?” and “my day was good” as I type. Those two phrases which he now commonly utters make all of the “I don’t like this” and “there is sauce on my noodles” stuff fade away in the background…for the most part. I bet my DH doesn’t have the same perspective I do since he is the one having to make the kids Dinosaur chicken nuggets tonight.
Another night on the road...