PicThx Serious Eats
There are some days when you just want to plug into your playlist, eat your food in self-imposed melancholy and tell everyone else to essentially f*ck off.
Understanding this desire to be forever alone, the folks over at Japan’s Kyoto University and Kobe University installed “lonely seats” (bocchi seki) when refurbishing their dining halls. The new dining tables feature 50-centimeter dividers in the middle, similar to the partitioned study desks you find in libraries. This design allows busy students to skip the chit chat with friends and evade the apparently stressful task of socializing.
“When I don’t have much time or I’m in a hurry, the lonely seats are convenient,” a 22 year-old female student told Asahi News.
The bocchi seats also help students who find eating alone to be uncomfortable. “If you are sitting at a big table by yourself it’s like you don’t have any friends and that is embarrassing,” said one 22 year-old male student.
While I enjoy the occasional meal alone as much as the next fellow (it allows for unlimited people watching), I’m a bit wary of these lonely seats. Sometimes, small talk over your mac n’ cheese is good for you, whether you like it or not.
“Table for one.” At most restaurants, that tiny statement is enough to earn you more than a couple confused, if not pitying looks. But not at Amsterdam’s “Eenmaal,” the world’s first self-proclaimed “one-person” restaurant, where tiny tables and single placemats and ample personal space are enough to make anyone feel like a leper, on purpose.
The two-day pop-up opened its doors last Thursday and takes its name from the Dutch word for “once,” according to Google Translate. As in, once I had friends, but they all stayed in our hometown when I moved to the big city. Or once I had a girlfriend but we broke up and she took the dog. Or once I spent my lunch hours at bars chatting up the bartender until I realized he was way out of my league and I would be alone forever and somehow ended up at this awful restaurant that seemingly exists just to reinforce my loneliness.
In all honesty, I like eating by myself, but because I’m a voyeur who loves people watching, not because I enjoy being gawked at, which seems to be the only thing a place like Eenmaal would be good for. Well, that and recreating that perfect seeing-a-gorgeous-stranger-from-across-the-room moment. It’s okay, it’s not like you were going to talk to your dining companion anyway.
Full disclosure: my goal at the end of this list is to make you want to punch something. The wall. Your laptop. The jackass buying last-minute flowers at the supermarket for his girlfriend and his cute coworker. I want you to get so angry that your body becomes a vessel fueled by the universal hatred of single people everywhere, threatening to spill forth from your fingers into the face of the next fat baby angel you see, and then — when you don’t think you can take anymore — you’ll just . . . go to a bar. Or call up a couple single friends so you can all play Edward 40-Hands. Because that’s what happy, healthy, well-adjusted grown-ups do. Really.
DRINK EVERY TIME . . .
Anyone who isn’t your boyfriend, girlfriend and/or significant other wishes you Happy Valentine’s Day
You get invited to a Singles-Only Party
How f–king thoughtful of you.
You hear Taylor Swift anywhere (and add a drink every time thereafter)
Someone posts a Facebook status about how in love they are
Picthx College Humor
Someone calls Valentine’s Day a stupid, corporate holiday and declares how happy they are to be single
Sure you are.
You see one of these bad boys:
You read this list
TAKE 2 DRINKS EVERY TIME . . .
Someone Instagrams their engagement ring (add two if that person is an ex)
Somebody asks why you’re still single
JUST LUCKY, I GUESS!
You go out to dinner and the waiter asks how many in your party
You see someone eating their feelings
You decide to eat your feelings
FINISH YOUR DRINK IF . . .
You end up on Pinterest, looking at wedding stuff
You end up on Thought Catalog, reading “The Perks of Being Single”
You end up on Facebook, creeping on your ex’s new boo
You end up on Netflix, period.
Picthx Doodle Flix
GRAB A WHOLE NEW FLASK WHENEVER . . .
Someone complains about having a boyfriend and not being able to party with her single friends
Your younger sister gets engaged
You wind up beating ‘Dark Souls’
Picthx Polish the Console