“FOOD BRINGS PEOPLE together on many different levels.” It’s a quote I just stumbled upon on the internet while reading their comments on people pitying those who eat alone. Filipinos value eating together with the family or even their relatives alongside prominent foods such as lechon, spaghetti, or pancit on the table. On the other hand, some people value eating alone because that’s how they spend their time. But why do some people love to side-glance these types of eaters?
I saw this video on social media that trended because they thought the guy was sad because he was eating alone. The caption also became a famous catchphrase on social media while posting pictures of them eating alone. Some may have seen this and reacted badly, but I am fed up with how people would respond that way, not knowing that some love eating alone.
I was speechless while watching that video because I also encountered being side-glanced by a group of friends while eating alone. Not just the glancing but hearing a phrase like “Tignan mo siya. Parang ang lungkot niya,” had me re-thinking for a minute if I made the right choice to eat inside the mall rather than eating at home after a grueling travel from Manila to Rizal. Is solo-dining a problem for some now? Is solo-dining the same as spreading gossip to your friends?
Solo dining releases one’s problem, as some also find it as their healing. The reward from solo-dining with a delicious appetite is something that every person would always look out for after the harsh demands of reality. The solitude a person feels while eating alone is an enjoyable experience as this is their way to take a break from everything and enjoy their “mouse moment.” The little joys of having a small bite of a food you’ve just tasted, not sharing it with someone, just a fine dining full of peace while indulging themselves with the menu.
In addition, enjoying your “mouse moment” means that you are also spending your time without any distractions from other people. Unexpected solo-dining? No worries! At least you value your alone time, which benefits you the most! There are a lot of circumstances in which a person would reflect on some things while having a sip of their coffee and maybe getting their creativity on, such as writing or drawing in a journal.
On top of that, some college students value their “mouse moment,” particularly when they need to go out and find comfort while finishing their studies. Honestly, I was inspired to write this because of my two friends who value their time alone. They even post their “mouse moment” on their Instagram stories and Locket. My other friend does find solace in finishing her requirements alone in a coffee shop — ordering her favorite Barista’s drink to “pump up” her energy as she completes all her tasks in one “sitting.” It doesn’t matter if you spend a lot of money on food because, at the end of the day, it feels like a well-deserved reward. Nevertheless, because of them, I have no uncertainties about bringing out my iPad and studying in a coffee shop for an hour or dining out alone. I’ve always thought that maybe the pandemic brought this introverted side of us the most, which is why we value having our “mouse moment.”
Going back, I can’t stomach why some people would easily deem that a person is spending alone time eating because they are sad or going through something. Well, we’re not in the place to judge their situation, or maybe they are having a hard time, but really? Staring at them for an hour or posting on social media (without consent) that they’re “going through a lot” is quite misjudging. Many are spending their time eating or studying alone in coffee shops or restaurants, so I hope that some would understand that it is normal to have their “me time.”
So next time you see someone solo-dining, do not gossip about them! Hence, do not disturb them!
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