Going to eat out to a restaurant is always a pleasure when you have company. But what does one do, when all one has for company is his shadow, thoughts in his mind and memories of companionship? Well here it is -
1) The "I am comfortable coming alone" confidence:
Make a decent entry into the restaurant, a confident walk and ensuring your eyes don't given in to the temptation of finding the nearest corner where you could dunk in and hide till your meal is completed. If you are supposed to wait till escorted by the waiter, have a pleasant plastic smile on your face (the one you usually have painfully acquired by posting for numerous wedding pics!) till the waiter comes and confidently say "Table for 1" as if it was a no-issue. Once you are led and seated on the table, be totally oblivious to the surrounding stares/ conversations from others. Be your pleasant self, order what you want to eat, have it and push off with the same confidence and smile.
2) The "I need some companionship" or "dependancy" mode:
Once seated, try opening your mobile phone and start playing with it as if this was what you always wanted to do in life - Buy a mobile and take it quietly to a restaurant so that you can play with it! Try SMS'ing all those friends whom you would never have wanted to SMS until this time. Also good time to catchup on some of the features of your phone, which made you buy the phone - though you may never have used those ever till this date. Other option is to clean your sent items of messages and re-read old sent messages. Try calling someone if you would like, while you wait for your food to arrive and have the same laughter, conversations that others around you are having.
3) The "Bookworm":
Once seated, open up the book that you are in the midst of reading, totally oblivious of the smell, sound, stares and the pitiful thoughts that you and others have for you for dining alone. Get absorbed totally into the book, creating the charachters in your mind and even imagining they are seated next to you and enacting the book out there in that restaurant. Just ensure you don't emote openly like laugh, cry or scream while reading through the book as this is the shortest way to be ostracized from the small society of which you are a part of!In fact even after the food arrives, you can balance the eating and reading simultaneously and feed your mind and stomach at the sametime!
I have tried all these three successfully so far! The bookworm was the one i hadn't tried for so long and yesterday i was "The Bookworm" in an Indian (read Indisk in Norwegian) restaurant.