Table for one

Knife and fork

My mum and I met at our favourite restaurant the other day for a catch up. We sat at a table next to an old man dining alone on tagliatelle and white wine. My mum is great at striking up a conversation and we were soon hearing of his recent move to town and his favourite lunch stops. He seemed far more interested in talking than eating and told us how he dines alone every day, yet no one speaks to him. “I live alone and don’t really talk to anyone, but here you are!” he grinned.

I was so struck by how little contact this man had, and how hungry he was for a chat. We are social beings, and our connections with others are such a big part of who we are, it’s easy to feel isolated without this. I love time by myself, especially in a coffee shop, watching the world go by. So I usually assume that others on their own are happiest left that way. But maybe sometimes it worth leaning over and saying ‘hi’, if only to see someone grin.)

7 thoughts on “Table for one

  1. I think there are a lot of lonely people out there- particularly older people. My mum has recently set up a care company as she is a Physio and kept meeting so many older people who are stuck in their house due to injury or illness. Her carers always include time for a chat in their sessions as they are sometimes the only human contact those people have.

    Just a little chat can brighten their whole week! x

  2. Cynthia Savage on said:

    Some of the most interesting things that have happened to me have been when I have started a conversation with complete strangers. In Denver we started a conversation with a man and the next day we ended up having breakfast (and dinner) and spending the day at the Zoo and shopping with he and his wife and daughter. In Greece we met a couple from Israel. They helped us out of the train station when the escalator was broken. The next day they invited us to go island hopping in Greece.

    But most important are the times, like you mentioned, where you find that someone is in need of a little attention.

  3. Marlene West on said:

    I couldn’t agree more, being a woman of “that certain age.” My mother always emphasized, “Don’t talk to strangers,” which can be carried too far. Yes, Wendy has always been especially kind and aware of elderlies. Remember Mr. Smith in Edinborough? I’m sure that “what goes around comes around” and all the goodness we do for others returns to us many fold. Thanks for this reminder.