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  • Writer's pictureJ J Hanna

One of the Perks of Solitude

The other day I experienced a moment of wonderful irony. I’d been having a lazy day and decided around dinner time to go to my campus’s dining commons for dinner. So, I put on a pair of sweatpants and a t shirt, and headed out for dinner. As I walked inside, I noticed two things: (1) there were table cloths on the tables, (2) many people were wearing dresses and heels, suits and ties.

It was the Valentine’s Dinner.

You can imagine my shock as I descended the stairs, looking around me at the red and black decorations, the pink streamers and heart centerpieces. The staff had even put the fancy napkins on the tables. This was a big deal!

And there I was, wearing clothing only a half step above pajamas, and alone.

Next I did what any person would do: I stood at the bottom of the stairs and laughed as my future passed before my eyes, full of solitary moments like this one.

I ended up at a booth in the corner enjoying chicken parmesan and New York style cheesecake, watching the people around me, and enjoying the solace of being alone in a crowded room, celebrating Valentine’s Day.

This is a good example of situational irony, where things line up just right to make the circumstances prime for awkwardness and memory making, like those rare moments when the sun is shining and there’s not a cloud in the sky and yet the weather decides to downpour.

I spent the rest of the night enjoying my own company and the freedom that solitude allows. I went to an improv show and found a seat, even though many other people were there and sitting on the floor and lining the walls so their groups weren’t separated.

If this night reminded me of anything, it is that being alone is not always a bad thing.

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