It had never occurred to me until I read another waiter blog tonight complaining about people who eat alone that anyone thought there was anything wrong with a single diner - a one top. I waited tables and tended bar for over twenty years and I don't recall ever resenting a customer for being by themselves. Sometimes, I sensed the customer's discomfort, but I always thought it was because they didn't like hearing being identified as being alone, as in, "Table for one?". Could I have been overlooking a fear of being rebuffed by their server all this time?
When I recall my favorite customers, they were almost always singles, and there are two of them who became personal friends (one, I rented a room from, and another loaned me the money to buy a car) that I am still in touch with today - 25 years after we met.
I did a little searching and it turns out there are some waiters who hate waiting on singles, and even some restaurants that don't seat parties of one during dinner rush! I never knew this. I go out to eat, to plays and to movies alone probably 90% of the time. It had never crossed my mind to think I was in anyone's way. I feel like I've been wearing my pants backwards for 48 years and am only now discovering my freakishness.
I might not have enough waiters or former waiters following me to get any comments from them from the serving standpoint, but civilian comments are welcome also. What are your feelings about the one-top stigma? Do you feel guilty taking up a table? Do you feel resented or dismissed?