It didn't seem a big deal to me. I see other people do it, and don't think anything about it. I guess going to a restaurant alone is outside of the comfort zone for a lot of people. It became even more interesting when I checked my email while eating, and saw something from the church on a Bible study on finding the courage to be yourself in a world clamoring for conformity. I laughed when I saw that, because that's something I obviously don't have a problem with. I am what I am. You can take it or leave it. I'm still living.
I think we all get to a point where we "get over" some tacit social norms. They aren't things that are formally mentioned, but you see people doing it, and they heedlessly conform to it because everybody else is doing it, so it must be right, right? Not necessarily. Different things work for different people, and I think enough life experience shows you what works, despite what everybody else is doing. I gave up on a lot of things in my 30's and in the first year of my 40's that seem to be the norm for most people. For example, I said to hell with:
Chemically treating my hair. If it's straight (like mine), you're supposed to have it permed to curl it. If it's curly, you're supposed to flat iron it. And people have wondered for the past two decades why I don't get my hair highlighted when it turned darker in my late 20's. The problem is this: when it's man versus nature, nature always wins in the end. Color and perms grow out. Heat and humidity that permeate the air around here 10 months out of the year will drop a curl or curl a straighter in a matter of hours. It's fine if it's for a special event, but why bother on a day to day basis? I have enough to do with my time and money, and fiddling with my hair isn't in that category. Especially when there are women spending time at the salon and with the flat iron trying to make their hair as straight as mine is when I wake up every morning!
High heels. Sure, they look good, but they don't feel good. And after plantar fascias and a broken foot, comfort and practicality are more important than that. I'm a program assistant and writer, so it's not like I need to make myself bigger to lend more authority to myself because my place on the totem pole isn't high enough for that. And I'm 5'1". There isn't a heel high enough to make me average height. So again, why bother?
Dresses. I found dresses on sale for $20 and almost bought one, until I realized that I wore the dresses I bought last summer a total of 4 times. I used to wear them in college, when I was walking from one building to another for classes in auditoriums and buildings that weren't well air conditioned. But being an office drone plus a borderline low thyroid means, I get cold easily, especially indoors. Pants are just more comfortable for me. I have a couple of dresses for the summer, but frankly it's not like I need them a lot. I'm not famous, and there aren't invitations to fancy events in my normal routine. Forget being cold and uncomfortable, or "dry clean only." Nobody's got time for that! I need wash and wear clothes.
Large purses. Is this like the high heel thing? Is it supposed to make you look like you're so important that you need to lug a bunch of stuff around? Because I most certainly don't. What do you really need to be away from home or the office for a little while? Your phone, wallet, keys, glasses - heck, even my .32 where I can conceal carry doesn't take up that much room. Leave the backpacks to students that need to carry around laptops/tablets and the huge diaper bags to mothers with small children. If you aren't in these categories, then keep it simple.
Being the best "you" that you can be is a personal thing that doesn't require pretense, and only you know what does or doesn't work for you. So be bold, and have the courage to embrace what really matters, and let go of what doesn't.
That's all today. Take care, and have a great rest of the week.