Email list
11 Points
11 Points Guide To Hooking Up
11 Things That Are Weird To Do Alone, In Increasing Order of Weirdness
written by Sam Greenspan

Don't worry, alcoholics... drinking alone didn't make it on my list. So you're safe to read this and remain judgment-free.

This list idea came to me a while ago, but, for whatever reason, I couldn't come up with 11 items I loved until now. But inspiration struck today so, finally, it's time to poke gentle and not-so-gentle fun at people who do stuff by themselves.

Here's my long-researched list of things that are strange or odd or weird to do by yourself, in increasing order of strangeness. Enjoy.

  1. Til now, I always got by on my own.
    Going to a restaurant. Some people I know will never go to a restaurant by themselves. Whether it looks lonely or depressing or whatever... some people just aren't down with it.

    And I agree, there are some occasions when I think it's a bit off to go to a restaurant by yourself. Going to a romantic French restaurant on Valentine's Day to have dinner alone is weird. Going to a popular, crowded late night restaurant at 11 pm alone is kinda weird. Going to Benihana during the lunch rush and grabbing the vacant eighth seat at a table when the other seven people there know each other is weird. (Especially if they all order together and you order separate so the chef has to cook your meat in a tiny little pile next to their giant meat pile, and even give you your own onion oil volcano demonstration.)

    But just generally going to a restaurant with a book or some work and grabbing a quick lunch or dinner by yourself? Not all that weird. At least not compare with the rest of the stuff on this list...

  2. Going to a movie on a weekend night. To me, a movie is slightly weirder than a restaurant. While it's darker, so, technically, not as many people are staring you down making you feel awkward... you're voluntarily going to one of the most communal activities around as a loner.

    I don't know. Something about going and seeing a movie alone (anytime other than a weekday afternoon) just feels kinda lonely... like you couldn't find one single friend to go. And it gets sadder if you're a woman seeing a romantic comedy alone or a man seeing... well, a romantic comedy alone.

  3. Going bowling. Every once in a while, some friends and I will get inspired to go bowling on a weekday night. And quite often, there's a guy a few lanes down, by himself, just bowling away.

    We're not talking PBA pros here either. Usually they've brought their own ball, but, skill-wise, they're usually comparable to Takashi in Wii Bowling whose skill level is around 870.

    Maybe I don't understand the high stakes world of league bowling (even if I see league bowlers chanting "You can do it Otto, you can do it Otto, help each other out, that'll be our motto)... but bowling feels like something you should do in a group only.

    Amateur bowling by yourself, on a Tuesday night, with nary a bowling pin shaped Bud Light bottle in sight (yes, the ones with the reservoir tip)... rough.

  4. Play "Armaggedon It!"
    Going to a concert. Standing there screaming "Def Leppard Rules" with no friends at your side to acknowledge and confirm that, yes, Def Leppard does rule... it just doesn't work.

    Especially if you're not even at a Def Leppard concert.

  5. Celebrating New Year's Eve. Well this one comes from painful personal experience. December 31st, 2001. I've been in Los Angeles about six months. Don't have any friends except my roommate, who's out of town. Just got let go from a temp job and had less than three figures in the bank. My friends back in Chicago having a big New Year's party at their place, which I can't afford to go to.

    So I sat on the couch on New Year's Eve, drank Diet Coke and, I believe, watched MTV's New Year's Eve coverage, with Carson Daly interviewing Mandy Moore about her sure-to-be-a-megahit-movie "A Walk To Remember".

    Now let us never speak of that night again.

  6. Playing Monopoly. I'm talking about playing a full game, with you being at least two or three different pieces. No one will really know you're doing it, so it's far less public than the rest. But this ranks on the list because, deep down, you know you'll start cheating and pulling off lopsided trades to help your frontrunning player "win." And that is totally weird.

  7. Going to Lamaze class. Going alone to a Lamaze class sounds like a scene from that zany romcom you saw alone back in point two.

    (It would be extra funny if the Lamaze instructor was Lorenzo Lamas.)

    (Odds that exact bit ends up in a Katherine Heigl movie, with a title along the lines of "And Baby Makes Two": 4-1.)

  8. It's not that obscure of a reference.
    Going to prom. If you do go alone, don't run afoul of Principal Dondelinger.

  9. Playing on a seesaw. Seeing someone on a seesaw alone is an iconic image of sadness. "I couldn't find a single friend who wanted to sit on the other side of this moderately entertaining piece of playground equipment with me. And my imaginary friend isn't heavy enough to push the other side down. But he can fly."

  10. Going to an amusement park. I don't even like going to an amusement park with an odd-numbered group of people, because that means someone's doing a lot of solo riding.

    And don't try to justify this one by bringing up the single riders option... if you're there alone, you're waiting in line alone, you're getting your caricature drawn alone, and at the end of the Haunted Mansion it's just you alone with your hologram ghost.

  11. Going to a buffet. Going to a buffet alone makes about 14 different simultaneous sad statements. It's right up there, simultaneous sad statement-wise, with pre-purchasing your tombstone, wearing Affliction and sunglasses to a club, or buying Rite Aid-brand vodka.

This list was originally published on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 12:01:00 AM under the category Personal.
It currently has View Comments.

11 Occasions To Expose Your Breasts in Public, In Order of Classiness

11 Obscure Monopoly Trivia Facts

11 Best One-Off Simpsons Characters

11 Follow-Ups From the First Six Months of 11Points

11 '80s Fads I Totally Bought Into

Archive of all Personal lists

Least Tortured Sports Cities in America
11 Least Tortured Sports Cities in America
Published Friday, September 12, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Sports
Most Tortured Sports Cities in America
11 Most Tortured Sports Cities in America
Published Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Sports
Wildly Inappropriate Back-to-School Sales
11 Wildly Inappropriate Back-to-School Sales
Published Friday, September 5, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Misc
Thoughts on the Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story
11 Thoughts on the Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story
Published Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category TV
Most Profound Deep Thoughts I've Found on the Internet
11 Most Profound Deep Thoughts I've Found on the Internet
Published Friday, August 29, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Personal
Totally Unexpected But Brilliantly Useful Online Dating Statistical Insights
11 Totally Unexpected But Brilliantly Useful Online Dating Statistical Insights
Published Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Dating & Sex
Full Archive

Mailing list

Sports lists
TV lists
Personal lists
Dating & Sex lists
Books lists
Countdown lists
Games lists
Food & Drink lists
News & Politics lists
Music lists
Movies lists
Web & Tech lists
Travel lists
Misc lists
Interviews lists
Full archive

11 Points

Mailing list