While reading the book Table for Two by Marla Miniano, I was struck by something a character said:
There is an unmistakable vibe independent people give off, an enviable confidence that allows them to eat alone and sit alone and hang out at a coffee shop alone without looking pathetic. I am not an independent person. I do not give off that “I’m alone and I’m okay” vibe. What I give off, clearly, is an “I got stood up by my boyfriend so now I’m loitering and trying to pretend that I’m okay” vibe.
I’m bringing this up because I’m the opposite of the character speaking above although I never really gave it much thought. I’d like to think of myself as independent. I do spend a lot of time on my own – I like going around malls and shopping by myself, I don’t mind eating at a restaurant on my own if I’m hungry and I usually hang out at coffee shops with a book on hand while waiting for someone.
I usually carry around a book or my Kindle wherever I go and I whip it out when I’m not doing anything. So my thought is this – maybe book lovers look more independent because we’re usually reading even when we’re on our own so we look busy. We give off that “Hey, I’m doing something even if I’m alone” vibe. The books that we bring with us act as our companions so to speak. Do you agree with me on this? I wonder if the rest of you feel self-conscious when you’re on your own or if you don’t really mind? Also, what do you think when you see someone by himself/herself – do you feel sorry for him/her?