Table For One Please


They are all going to laugh at me. They are all going to laugh at me. Did that happen before they poured pigs blood on Sissy Spacek in Carrie? I can’t remember. But that is how I felt walking into Cantwells Tavern on my birthday, February 14th, Valentine’s Day, the day of love.

I couldn’t have asked for a better pre-birthday surprise dinner with my family the night before. My teaching partner and our class had a great time at Brookeapalooza. Yes, I named my own party. It was the day of love and I truly felt it.

I called the restaurant the day before and made a reservation for 2 at 4:00 pm. I wasn’t expecting Prince Charming to join me. But I had the option to invite a friend if I chose to do so. I never asked anyone to join me. I parked, grabbed my journal and walked into the tavern like I was royalty.

When the hostess greeted me. I gave her my name and she asked me if I wanted to be seated or wait for my party to join me. I told her that it would just be me tonight. Her smile turned into a sad lip and she touched her heart. She told me we could wait a few moments. I assured her it was okay and that I wanted to be seated.


It didn’t help that I had my bling “It’s My Birthday” shirt on. She asked if it really was my birthday, on Valentine’s Day. I told her yes and she said “Awe”. But not awe that’s so sweet. It was more like Awe, you poor soul. I’m thinking girl don’t kill my vibe. I am trying to “carpe my diem” here.

As I walked to my cozy table. There were couples dining and even a man eating alone. Keep in mind. I was not trying to find a man. I really just wanted to see if I had enough courage to get through dinner.


When my waitress came over to greet me. She was very sweet. To get over any awkwardness she might have. I told her I am eating alone, yes it’s my birthday and I know it’s Valentine’s Day. She passed me the drink menu and said. “Girl you need to try What She Wants!” A cocktail with a pink sugar rim sounds like a winner to me. And it was.

The name of the cocktail, What She Wants stuck with me. I began to reflect on the things that I want. And also the things that I don’t want. As I glanced around the room I took in the details of the fireplace, the art work and the smells coming from the kitchen. A group of older ladies sat across from me. They all waved. First, I thought they must know my mommy. They continued to smile and make eye contact.

Any other time I would have struck up a conversation but today was different. Today was about me. My waitress was nice. She checked on me often. I wrote in my journal and really enjoyed the time to eat, pray and love myself.

I tried not to laugh when the waitress asked me if it was my first Valentine’s Day without my husband. She asked how long had it been and I replied almost five years. I didn’t realize that she assumed I was a widow. When she asked if he had been sick. I looked at her and said. He didn’t die. He cheated. Bless her heart. She turned red. And came back with another What She Wants cocktail! That’s a win-win!


The day of love was absolutely perfect. I was able to write, enjoy a meal, sing karaoke style in the car and chat with some of my girls from Michigan. My ex mother-in-law even called to wish me happy birthday.

I don’t want to turn back time. I am embracing 46 and what this year has in store for me. It’s my turn because now I know what I want.



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