I rarely do fun things by myself. Usually, if no one else is interested in a particular activity, then I choose not to do it instead of going solo. I don’t resent the choice, I just figure it wouldn’t be fun alone. But then this weekend, I found myself with lots of free time, and the Consort busy with papers to grade, and so I tried something new.
On Saturday, our local coffee shop was offering a “class” on the Chemex coffee brewing system. I’m not a coffee connoisseur: as long as it’s organic, shade grown, and fair trade, I’ll drink it. But I wasn’t sure how many people would attend, I knew the Consort would be grading and Impera was at a debate tournament, and if I were a small shop owner I would dread trying something new and having no one show up. So I asked Trixie if she wanted to spend a bit of time at the coffeeshop. She had a peach Italian soda and drew a comic strip she is developing, and I learned about Chemex with 5 other people.
As we were walking to the coffeeshop, I had a momentary change of heart and almost told Trixie we should turn around — it would be so much easier to surf the Web and drink tea from home, wouldn’t it? Of course it would. But it was fun to try two different coffees (a Guatemalan and an Indonesian) brewed this way, and to talk to others about what flavors we were tasting in the drink (I had no idea how much coffee tasting is like wine tasting: hints of floral, low acidity, full-bodied, … oh my!)
This morning, I wanted to go to a (FREE!) local arts expo downtown. Again, the Consort was busy, and I knew the girls wouldn’t want to spend their precious weekend time at one of these things. So I went by myself. It was a veritable Artist Date (but does it count as one if you aren’t following the Artist’s Way program?). I read that book, and often thought about following the program, but the idea always fizzled when the time for the first solo outing came along (hmmmm. I’m sensing a pattern).
This time, the urge to abort this expedition came on strong as I was walking to the entrance. I decided that going with Trixie the day before was much different, because even though we didn’t interact, I technically hadn’t gone to the coffeeshop alone, whereas this time, everyone else I saw was in pairs: couples, friends, mother and offspring. There was no denying it — I would definitely be seen as a loser without friends.
But it was rather fun. I could stop and read all the ingenious one-off earring pairs at one jewelry booth (good witch/bad witch; in one ear/out the other; left brain/right brain …) without feeling like I should move on, and I could completely skip the beautiful yet rather uncreative photography booths (you know the ones: grizzly bears, Grand Canyon, eagle catching a fish) without feeling guilty that I was rushing by someone else’s favorite booth.
I still think I prefer to do activities with others, but I’m glad I have finally realized that I can participate, even when no one else wants to.