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Eating alone…..Sad?

In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I eat alone on a regular basis.  In fact, I’m getting ready to leave for a lunch break in which I will be eating entirely by myself.  Is this pathetic?  That question arises from viewing this blog dedicated entirely to pictures of people eating by themselves.  There is absolutely no commentary provided by the owner of the site as to whether these pictures are intended to be funny, cruel, pathetic, etc..  Andrew Sullivan calls it “a sort of Rorschach test,” and in many ways it is.  I originally felt sorry for these people, but  I’ve already stated that I eat by myself on a regular basis.  If I view these people as pathetic, then its fair to assume that a fair amount of people view me the same way.

So why do we view lonely eating as being lonely?  Chances are most of the people have very good reasons for eating alone that do not include any feeling of loneliness, yet I feel sorry for them.  I don’t have that feeling when I see a 300 pound woman in a pink thong and Steelers jersey on People of WalMart.  I simply mock those people, but somehow feel pity for someone simply eating alone in a restaurant.  It is very strange.  Thoughts?

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2 thoughts on “Eating alone…..Sad?

  1. Zackary P on said:

    The feeling of pity is strange, I think, but no doubt very common. I actually enjoy eating alone, and I don’t feel sympathy when I see someone else eating alone, unless they happen to be obviously morose or clearly suicidal, etc. I wonder what it is that makes people feel sorry for others simply for sustaining their bodies while alone? Maybe people just suspect the worst? Interesting topic.

  2. For me, the type of restaurant plays into it as well. I’m much more likely to feel pity for someone sitting in a Bob Evans pounding pancakes by themselves, than someone at a “nice” restaurant. Maybe I simply assume that the person at the “nice” restaurant must have a reason for being there, while the guy at Bob Evans is a friendless hobo who can only afford pancakes. All of this coming from someone who legitimately enjoys going to the movie theater by himself. Hmmmm….

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