Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Blue Rodeo and The Wine Bar

Yesterday I was too tired to blog. I take about one nap per year and yesterday was my nap for 2016. Sunday night was such a great night out - prior to going to the "Blue Rodeo" concert I treated myself to a $15 glass of wine at The Wine Bar, a funky, comfortable space where I received excellent service in addition to cozy ambiance.
I sat on a lovely leather couch with a fireplace to my right filled with candles. The wine was called Butterfield Station - an excellent CabSav 2014 blend. Smoooooooth!!

This was the first time that I attended a concert by myself. 
It was a bit of an experiment for me to see if I could have a great time on my own - a single, almost sixty-year old woman. Would I encounter any discrimination? Would I feel invisible? Would I feel comfortable? I'm of the mind that I should be able to go anywhere and feel comfortable, but in reality that doesn't always happen. You wouldn't believe  (or maybe you would) the number of women who say to me "oh, I could never do that, not by myself!"
I have experienced ageism and gender discrimination over the past couple of years. It's enough to make a person just stay home! However, that is not satisfactory to me so I've decided to push the boundaries somewhat.

The young female bartender was very welcoming I am happy to report. She came over and lit all the candles, was super-friendly and I really enjoyed the lounge-y feel of the small seating area with leather sofa and coffee table. I took out my iPad and made some detailed notes of the positive experience.

So here's the gist of my quest - there are a lot of social expectations in existence, rightly or wrongly. I want to challenge those expectations in my own little way. Why can't an (almost senior) single woman go out and have a great time on her own without thinking that a) people feel sorry for her; b) she's weird; c) she's a loser and d) she has no friends.

Here's how I feel about that:
a) Don't feel sorry for me or any other 60 year old woman going to events on her own. I sure don't feel sorry for myself. I had great anticipation for the concert and went an hour early so I could enjoy a really good glass of wine first. HOWEVER, I did think about what I would say if anyone (friend or family member) asked me who did I go with? Would I tell the truth (me, myself and I) or would I make up a mystery friend? I plan to tell the truth!! Because I happen to think it's just fine to go places on my own. (And I have experienced those pity-filled looks from people when I say I went somewhere alone because that's just NOT how things are done!!)
b) What's wrong with weird? But truly, I don't think it's weird to attend an event alone if I want to. I had been out with people 6 nights in a row previously to the concert and was more than ready to do something on my own.
c) Am I a loser? I know that over the last couple of years I've felt like one after losing my relationship, my home in PEI and having to recreate/remodel my "future" after retiring. I went through a depression and experienced a lot of anxiety but I'M BACK BABY, I'M BACK, better than ever. Every day my enjoyment of my life increases. In the last few months I've joined an activist group, a book club and a volleyball club. I walk/hike, go to yoga and group meditation. I've gone to all but 1 of the oscar-nominated movies, had dinner and too much wine with friends on several occasions, been out for breakfasts and lunches, renewed two friendships, spent time with family, been out for coffee(s), been to workshops and sit-ins, donated to charities and have purchased gifts for Christmas 2016, learned how to crochet, completed several carvings AND I'm going to Ireland!!

So, I feel less like a loser every day. I should have never felt like a loser in the first place but society has certain unwritten rules: you must be married or in a committed relationship in order to be happy, you must be outgoing and busy every minute of every day, you must accomplish things, women must be super-moms and employees, we must spend beyond our means so as not to look (or feel) deprived. I could go on and on.
d) Have I NO friends? I do have friends, sometimes it feels like I have too many friends after I've been out 7 days straight and I need time to unwind and recharge.

I have a plan to return to this topic frequently over the next year or so. I'm going to rate my various solo experiences that are outside of my comfort zone and that challenge society's mores. Sunday's experiences were wonderful! I'm off to a great start!
Greg Keelor

Jim Cuddy

I want this guy's job!

Jim - still yummy after all these years!

Mike Boguski - so immensely talented!
One bonus of going alone - I had an empty chair on my left and right - lots of room for dancing!!

1 comment:

Kim said...

OMG, YOU ARE MY HERO. I always want to be more like my sister who thinks nothing of going on a vacation by herself, and it's not from lack of friends. I really recharge by being alone, not always with people, but it makes me fee weird. PLEASE keep writing about these experiences. Between you and my sis, I'm going to break out of my comfort zone.