Most of us hate being alone. I’m not just talking about being single, or not having your close friends living nearby. I mean physically alone. Especially in public. Some of us would not be caught dead eating a meal alone, buying a movie ticket for one or even running some errands solo. Why is that? It may stem from this idea that if we aren’t surrounded by friends or with a loved one, we look pathetic or awkward. We feel less confident when we only have our phones to keep us company on an outing. We value people and put a lot of emphasis on how many people we know, how many friends we have and how many dates we go on. Yes, interacting with others is amazing. I will be the first to admit I love 4-hour-long conversations over a beer or coffee, but I also know what is just as important: having that same kind of time by myself.
So, I’m making it my personal mission to prove it to myself that doing things alone in public is not scary and actually necessary to be comfortable in this world where you are the only person that will always be there for you 24/7.
Doing Things Alone: Shopping
Birthday gift cards gave me a good reason to do a little treatin’ myself. Also, I had one of those weeks where only retail therapy seems to help with, you know? So, I decided to go to the mall without any company.
As one of those people who thrives off of others’ opinions and suggestions for almost any purchase, I felt like this was actually going to be weird. I went in for some shorts, and I wasn’t sure what else I was going to come out with.
First off, I didn’t realize how unfamiliar I was with Lenox Mall until I found myself standing in the middle of one of the couch-and-Wii-Dance areas, rotating in a circle. Directory- I needed a directory. However, I also needed a directory to find a directory. Soon, my palms started sweating.
Finally found my destination and upon arriving a salesperson greeted me at the door.
This was the actual interaction.
Salesperson: “Hi, how are you?”
Me: “Shorts. Sorry, uhm hi! How are…”
And since I had such an abrupt fit of being a rude idiot, she walked me to the shorts before I could finish.
The rest was easy and enjoyable, shopping around alone. There were a few times I found myself walking through the same section of the store five times, which would have annoyed whoever I would have been shopping with, but it didn’t matter! The only time I really wish I had a fit bit.
I tried on some things, settled on a pair of shorts and left. I survived, and I even asked for the student discount. Bolder.
So, overall: shopping alone was very efficient, fast and enjoyable. Next time I will do more than one store, but honestly? I almost walked into a stroller on the way out of the first store, and it shocked me so much that I couldn’t handle anymore mall time that evening.