Growing up, my understanding was that to dine alone was not socially acceptable. My mother, when my father would be away, would go out alone to the movies & to restaurants. I thought she was courageous. I tried it in my young adult years but was never comfortable with it.
In our current café's it is most acceptable to be alone, but it seems one must have a newspaper, a book or a device. Society tells us we must be connected, even while eating.
Top sketch was made in a bakery café in Rockland where I was focusing on spatial perspective.The bottom one is from Wild Willy's restaurant in South Portland. I felt sad seeing this man who was actually eating alone without reading. Was I projecting my own feelings onto him? Was he a widower? Was I remembering that even though my mom went out alone, I sensed that she lonely without my father? I suspect that a lot of older people who are alone don't go out much into the world. Which can lead to isolation, which can lead to sadness. I wonder, dear friend, what your thoughts are.