Friday, November 10, 2006

Table For One

"Will Madame be dining alone?"

When I first began business travel, these words made me quickly scan the restaurant to see who was staring at the big "L" on my forehead. I just knew they were thinking: "Pity, she has no friends." "What, can't get a date?" "Huh, looks like she's been stood up." "Loser!" I would eat dinner at my little table feeling the heat of the million watt spot light over my head. (Yes, my ego was that big!)

Now I know better. I might still suspect people are thinking those pitiful thoughts, but I don't give a shit. One of the few advantages of aging is getting over yourself. So that dining alone on a business trip is not torture, it is a treat. An hour or so of blissful peace. Courtesy demands that my cell phone be turned off. Smiling people bring me artfully prepared food and drink, and clean up after me. I read the local paper. Issues and events that matter to people in different places can be fascinating, enlightening, or hilarious. I bring a book for back up. And, best of all, my employer pays for it.

Last night, as the waitress put a plate of PEI mussels in front of me, (steamed in Guiness and garlic, yummy,) I felt a twinge of guilt for my Beloved at home. He is dealing with the houshold grind and chaos while my whims are catered to.

The guilt fades with every succulent mussel. By dessert time, guilt shmilt. This is bliss. Sorry Sweetie.

Today's dream travel destination: Where I am, but do not have time to explore. Prince Edward Island, Canada.

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