Blake’s Advice Column
I’m a middle-aged woman who has survived a 30-year toxic relationship with a covert narcissist. Most of the time, I enjoy shopping, movies and even dining out. However, for some reason while dining out, I get unwanted expressions of sympathy for being alone. Strangers comment about how sad it is to see me eating all alone. One woman offered to introduce me to her brother. She went so far as to ask for my phone number so she could pass it along to him, so that way I would have company. How can I respond to these unwanted comments and nip the conversations in the bud so they don’t disrupt my entire meal?
From Louisville, Kentucky
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There is no doubt that it can be extremely irritating for strangers to approach you while you’re simply trying to enjoy a meal. But there are some things you can do to encourage those nosy morons to do an abrupt about-face. Here are some ideas. If a man approaches your table and shows some “unwanted sympathy”, shout out at the top of lungs “No, I don’t want to spend a romantic evening with you and your wife!” If a woman approaches your table and shows some “unwanted sympathy”, shout out at the top of lungs “No, I don’t want to hear your favorite story about cramps!” Another way to prevent strangers from trying to “set you up” with someone, is to have next to your spoon and fork, a syringe, a tourniquet, and a business card from drug rehab that they see you tear in half and spit on. However, if you’re not a confrontational person, and you simply want to be left alone, then this last suggestion may be best for you. Only dine in public while wearing an orange jumpsuit. This will pretty much keep everyone away, and the only people that will stop at your table at that point will be your server, and possibly a SWAT team. I hope this helps.