Friday, July 13, 2007

Consensus of One

The phone rang harshly and loudly at 5 AM.

"Damn, what in the hell?" I muttered as I looked at the alarm clock on my bedside table and turned on the lamp. There was a hurried bout of acrobatics as I clumsily pulled on my shorts, socks, and shoes. It didn't even phase Maggie as she briefly looked up and then went back to sleep upon my warm and soft covers.

"Hello?" I stammered, picking up the phone, worried it may be Rosa having a hard morning.

"Can I be speakin' to Sheniqua?" A brusque male voice asked with a heavy Southern African American accent.

"Damn," was my final mutter as I sighed and hung up the phone abruptly – perturbed at having been woken up so early from a blissful slumber – the kind of which doesn't come easy to me.

Hell, I was wide awake and up now. It was time to get this day going. I hope Sheniqua and her brazen early morning caller unite and have a good conversation together. There ain't no Sheniqua here though.

I can be a stodgy old fart about rituals. My father has been known to jokingly call me an old man I am so set in my ways. Breakfast doesn't escape the tenacity with which I carry out the tours de force that are the obsessive compulsive side of my personality. Mess up my routines and I am on the floor, balled up in a fetal position, and crying my eyes out in frustration.

"Would you like an egg?" I asked Maggie as she had finally roused herself from the bed when she smelled frying bacon.

I looked into the carton only to realize that by cooking Maggie an egg would leave me five left and I have to have three every morning. I stood there stymied for a moment almost totally frozen. wondering what to do. No egg for Maggie was the majority report. I am a consensus of one and I am also obsessive compulsive. "You have plenty of kibble, girl," I told her, much to her dismay.

I used to shudder at the thought of eating alone. Now it is commonplace to find me sitting at my kitchen table, solitary, with a meal in front of me or down at the barbeque joint, table for one, scoffing down a pulled pork sandwich. Social anxiety can often be a weird mix of phobias and quirks. You would think a person suffering from it would gleefully eat alone. Actually, by eating alone, you stand out from the crowd and this is terrifying for a person who suffers from it. It is much calmer and anxiety lessening to have a trusted companion to eat with you when eating out. Luckily, I have pretty much overcome this deep seated fear of mine.

Well, let me head out for my morning walk. I will write again soon.


abbagirl74 said...

I don't like eating alone either. I love great conversations and wonderful people.

Have you seen much of the gang lately?

I hope you have a great day Andrew.

Andrew said...


I don't see any of the gang now that I have moved across town. I guess that phase of my social life is over now.

You have a great day as well and don't work too hard.


justLacey said...

I like to eat alone, probably because I rarely am alone anymore. When I was alone though, I used to go to restaurants or movies alone frequently.
Next time just give Maggie some toasties. My dogs love toast in the morning, don't forget the butter.


What I wouldn't give to eat a meal in peace.
I hope you had a wonderful walk!!

Andrew said...


I know you tagged me and I have good intentions to get to it. It caused me a lot of anxiety though trying to decide who to tag as well. I hope you don't mind if I just pass on that. Thanks as always for your comment and I loved your post about the birth of Sullivan.

I didn't walk very far when I realize I had left my cigarillos at home and turned around to come back and smoke. I would put the health nuts into a uproar over my behavior this morning! LOL


Andrew said...


I had the backdoor open this morning and gave Maggie a peice of warm toast just out of my toaster oven and she carried it out into the yard to enjoy it. She loves them as well. Take care today and I hope you and family are okay! :)

M said...

Right now I am eating my breakfast of brussel sprouts, cat on one side and dog on the other. So, although I may be lacking human companionship, I don't feel alone.

Have a good day!

Andrew said...


That sounds delicious. I love brussel sprouts. Aren't pets just wonderful? I don't know what I would do without Maggie. She is the best thing my father has done for me in years other than buying this house for me. Hope you have a great day.


Josie Two Shoes said...

That was a great observation, Andrew, that someone eating out alone stands out more in the crowd. I like to eat out, but have learned to always take a book with me, tucking one edge under my plate to read while I eat. Though it may appear strange to others, books keep me good company, and give me something to focus on when I don't have anyone to converse with.

Andrew said...


I will often bring a newspaper to read when I eat alone as well. It is comforting to peruse as I take bites of my meal. Thanks for your comments today. They brought me a lot of joy reading them.



No problem Andrew!! Like I mentioned in my posting, it's almost impossible for me to complete those items..I was walking around while visiting my inlaws stressing over the tagging-(Hi PORTIA!! :)!!!)

Screw the health do what you want to do.
It seems to me that you've had a great start to the day.
Thanks for the compliment on my sulli post..he's a tough child, but I love him so.

KYRIE said...

I am pretty much used to eating alone after all these years since my teens.
I just cant remember the last time I sat eating at my own dining table. Me + my food= in front of my TV.
I feel most uncomfortable at other people's dining tables nowdays, being in the middle of uncomfortable family situations I guess. I guess I am my own best company whn dining.
Take care n enjoy thy meals.

Eric said...

I often will eat out alone, but in order to do it, I must have something to read. I feel like I'm some sort of oddball if I am eating alone in public, but, and this makes absolutely no sense, I don't feel odd reading a newspaper or book a the table, in spite of the fact that my mother always said reading at the table was rude.

I get phone calls at odd hours from bill collectors looking for people I have never heard of, even though the only phone line here is the phone for the apartment complex I manage.

C. R. Morris said...

I'm the same way about eating alone in public that you used to be. I wish I could get over it. I wanted to go see a movie once and someone said, "So just go." *GASP* ALONE?! The times I've done something alone, I felt as if all eyes were on me. I can't understand it.