I’m booking my European holiday for July. It’s my first trip to Europe in general and the first time I’ll be away from the kids for more than a few days.
I’m going for six weeks, so it’s going to be separation anxiety heaven for both sides.
Anyway, amidst booking my accommodation, my index finger scrolling the mouse roller has arthritis in it from searching for ‘single’ or ‘1’.
I’ve had training in the number one. Leaving the relative ease and safety of a marriage where your ironing is done and dinner prepared, I had to prep myself to begin learning again.
I remember one night in South Yarra at my shared house. I stood at the front door, dressed, trying to imagine myself going out to dinner alone and watching a movie. I think I checked my wallet for cash about 10 times before opening the door. I was stalling for no reason.
I walked up Chapel St and sat down at Sienna Bar. Suddenly I felt like I was the only person out and everyone was staring. They weren’t, but I was almost overwhelmed with paranoia. I took a seat and stared at the menu. I remember sweating yet it was the middle of winter.
I searched the place for a paper or something to read, finally succumbing to looking around as I ate. I mopped my forehead and felt annoyed with myself and left immediately. I had indigestion for weeks.
Nowadays I go on ‘John dates’ where I carefreely go for dinner alone, watch a movie indulgently alone and generally carry on like a pork chop in my own company. I don’t stare at menus any more and it took a long time to get here.
So back to Europe. It’s an expensive little continent travelling solo, but the rewards, and the ability to sit in a Parisian café singularly observing the world swirl by will be something I’ve trained for, for a very long time.
I’ve graduated from the ‘table for one’ class and I got an A+.

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