Just One


Any single ladies out there? Well, this is for you.

You enter a restaurant, eagerly anticipating the scrumptious meal ahead, and the hostess greets you with the words—“Just one?” As the word Just rings in your ears, you murmur a polite “Yes thank you,” but your enthusiasm is deflated. You follow the hostess past the romantic couples, the families with boisterous children seated at tables for the tables for four, six, even eight. Finally, off to the side, near the kitchen, you reach the table adorned with one unlit candle—your table for one. Just one, that is.

The just question is usually followed by the just look—the slightest hint of disdain—she’s not worthy of a dinner companion.   Probably will just order a salad. Probably won’t drink more than one glass of wine. Not much of a tip here. After all, she’s just one. Or the look could be one of pity—poor thing, she has to eat by herself. After all, she’s just one. Just is a synonym for less than, for lack; a word designed to diminish. As you bristle inside, you say to yourself I’m not a Just. In the words of Jesse Jackson, “I AM somebody!”

On occasion, a Just One Guy passes your table. He makes an about face and approaches you saying, “Excuse me, Miss. May I turn this into a table for two?”

In New York, where I come from, a lady dining alone is very commonplace—not at all noteworthy. She is greeted with a smile, “Table for one, Madam?” said with the slightest tilt of the head, a sign of admiration and respect.

Guess what? We women who dine alone are quite content—no, delighted with our own company. We find ourselves interesting, and as we look around the restaurant, we are amazed by our own observations and profound inner thoughts.

We’re no kind of just. We’re all that!

Amy Bryant


Amy Bryant

Author of You CAN Go Home Again


  1. Amy, I loved this post! You are right about how commonplace it is to be “just one” dining in New York. I have learned — quite happily — that “just one” can be “just great.” I often enjoy my own company as much as I enjoy sharing it with others. Thanks for the empowering reminder.

  2. Amy – I couldn’t agree with you more. Though I won’t be seated near the kitchen or the bathrooms. Thanks!

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