I’m looking forward to returning to my blog, after about a one year absence.  In that time, I’ve moved into my new apartment on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, audited two excellent art history classes in the fall and spring semesters, taken a trip to Berlin entirely on my own, and another with a group several months later to France, made dramatic strides to start my product design company and learned that I am to be a grandmother twice, in early August and again in early September.  

    All things considered, I’m “widowing on” well, making the best of the still relatively new life (going on 4 years this coming July 22nd) without my husband.  

   Still, one of the hardest activities for me to do is to go out for dinner by myself.  I’ve heard this challenge expressed often by widows in the past 3 years.  Many of us associate dinners (frequently weekend dinners) with our husbands.  In my own case, we took enormous pleasure in the time to just talk.  Sometimes the talk involved important decisions, often about our children and their lives but, always, there was a shared intimacy    and the ability to be together and, usually, enjoy a nice meal.  Most of the time our best dinners were not ones where he would put on a tie and jacket and I would wear a dress. Instead, they were in very relaxed neighborhood restaurants, that greeted us warmly when we walked in the door, and with many predictable and appealing food options.

    I have avoided, as much as possible, going out to eat dinner on my own these past 3 years, although when I traveled to Berlin by myself last summer, I was determined to accomplish it.  I’d go armed with a Kindle (and an attachment light) and look for a restaurant with good food.  I think restaurants must really appreciate single women walking in because most of us probably don’t dawdle.  I certainly didn’t.  

    As I came back to my apartment around 6:00 pm yesterday, after a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon spent walking and shopping in Manhattan,  I decided that going out for dinner at a local restaurant on a beautiful early spring night would be uplifting, and a way of rewarding myself for having gotten through a tense 2 days of pregnancy-related news from my daughter.

    And that’s just what I did.  My date was Ernest Hemingway and, with a copy of “Garden of Eden” in my purse, I headed to a very good restaurant on Broadway and West 112th Street.  The hostess seated me at a table by the window with an excellent view of people walking on Broadway.  I ordered a glass of German rose, and a kale and artichoke salad with grilled chicken.  I watched the people walking by, read Hemingway and eavesdropped on the conversation of 2 young women sitting to my left, who seemed to be meeting as potential roommates and discussing everything from their food allergies to their plans for marriage and children.

    As I walked back on Broadway afterwards and caught occasional glimpses of the setting sun down the side streets leading to the Hudson, I was glad that I’d gone out.  My son had a poster in his bedroom when he was growing up of Garfield, the cat, tossing up a little paw-ful of confetti.  The thought bubble proclaimed, “A party is where you make it.”  My Saturday night dinner, on my own, was definitely more enjoyable out than in.