Flying Solo

It was the end of the summer and I was invited with a friends family on their shopping-trip weekend to New York City. As soon as I got the invite, I pictured myself walking down the streets of Soho finding hidden-hip-gems to accessorize with, followed by a vision of myself enjoying happy hour and dining at the hottest restaurant-of-the-week. Unfortunately, I imagined myself doing all these things, but edited out my friend and her family (sorrt J.)

Oh the joys of flying solo. Just you and your confidence sitting at a table for one. I am an individual who finds comfort in flying solo, and I definitely don’t shy away from it. Whether it be restaurants, to – dare I say – bars, I’ve managed to break the by-myself barrier and embrace it. So I did take up my friend on this irresistible invite to my favourite city (and former home), but I decided to fly out there on my own a day early, so I could take 24 hours to have my own love affair with New York.

My feet touched down on the city that never sleeps in the late afternoon, and checked into my hotel. And though – as tempted as I was to throw on my fave Free City sweats and order in room service – I did a wardrobe change from the Laid Back Flyer look to City Girl Casual and left my room behind. I excitedly walked out of the St. Regis, only to be greeted with a torrential downpour (that’s NYC for you!) Not one to let a rainy day get in my way, I ran down the flooded streets until I locked eyes with the ‘Whiskey Trader’ at 55th and 6th, and I just couldn’t resist.

I stepped into a dark bar at about 5pm, just in time for happy hour. I got a table for one, and ordered a cosmo (when in rome), and when delivered, a plate of popcorn was placed in front of me. As I sipped the $3 drink while making sure to take handfuls of buttery lightness here and there, I glanced around the room at the other twentysomethings that were beginning to fill out the bar.

The thing about going to a bar alone, is not only are you easily approachable (I was single at the time, go easy on me) but it also provides you with the opportunity to meet more people since you aren’t holding any one else back (like your friends who usually accompany you) when you want to make convo with others. Coming from a little miss chatterbox, you can damn well bet I want to make convo. I met a number of people that evening. I met a couple from Brooklyn who sat at the table next to me. The guy was originally at the bar with another girl, then when that girl left, in walked this new chick. When boy left for the washroom, girl told me she just met him on vacation and they are on a date. I’m still in touch with her to date. See picture below of the night we met at the bar in discussion:

I must admit, I may seem confident as hell, and I’m not undermining that flying solo is a bold move, but it is much easier to go out alone in a different city. This whole idea of being a loner or a loser if you don’t have four plus girlfriends by your side just becomes irrelevant. Eventually, as we mature and grown comfort with ourselves, we realize that – though fun to party and have a night out with your besties – it does definitely hold you back in some regard.

When going out with friends we need to:

- coordinate the time we need to go to the washroom with our friends bladder’s
- agree on a bar of choice (always hard when people have ex-boyfriend baggage and have to avoid certain locations they lost in the custody battle)
- worry about what outfit to wear, since we saw the same crew last weekend, we can’t wear our staple I-look-fucking-hot outfit yet again
- we need to stand an arms length away while they partake in mini-preditible conversations and have to pretend we care (ie: smile and nod) until they are done, then need to ask if it’s ok for us to do the same when we run into an Omg-I-like-so-haven’t-seen-you-in-forever kind of friend

Why fly solo you ask yourself, and I don’t blame you my social-butterfly you. There are many reasons to go percy, such as:

- you’re out of town and on your own and want to enjoy a night out (and you are certain you won’t run into anyone you know)
- all your friends are busy and it is your first night off in weeks
- you don’t want friends and their drama to destroy yet another night out, so you bring you in all your glory out to a bar with no expectations and no reservations and go with the flow without being held back in any way
- because you can

Girls who can’t fly solo:

- those who cling to their fellow blonde, bronzed, twentysomething friends at bars
- those who think it’s a sin to be caught out dare-i-say alone
- those who can’t put their Blackberry’s away and let loose

If you are about to go out alone, I welcome you to the club. There is nothing like going for a mid-day lunch at the Four Seasons and running into friends parents in Studio Cafe. When they ask the inevitable ‘Who are you here with?’ nothing is as fulfilling as saying proudly, ‘I am here alone.’ Happy independence my ladies.

- Jenny Jen

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