Whilst talking to a freelance chorus member at an ENO rehearsal, I was warned of the loneliness of life as a soloist. Mealtimes alone in particular. To me, it's an interesting one. For some, it sounds sad and lonely, to others it's a time you can enjoy to yourself. In my travels to and from auditions, rehearsals and appointments I've found myself flying solo come mealtime a fair few times and I'm still not sure where I stand. Whether lonesome or relaxed, these are a few things I've noticed between mouthfuls: 
- Other masturdaters sit facing the same way as you. To avoid eye contact and perhaps the acknowledgment that they're on their own, I find people wanting to block off any chance of other human interaction by sitting staring at your back. Occasionally I take it upon myself to purposefully sit facing my fellow "loners" just to sometimes give a friendly smile or a raise of a glass - a sure fire way to make Brits feel even MORE uncomfortable. 

- Being on your phone at dinner is suddenly acceptable. Same goes for reading, listening to music and silence. These normally social taboos are why I can find myself relishing a meal for one. I'm free to catch up on my admin, lose myself in my book or just zone out completely. It becomes a little bit of needed me-time and sometimes it's just what I want before I rejoin the consciousness of the busy day. 

- Wait staff act differently towards you. It may just be me, but service seems to run faster and smoother when there's only one of you. Whether it's because they feel sorry for you (doubtful but maybe) or because they want to turn the table around quickly, I don't think I've ever had speedier service. Most people would take this as a positive right? Well, if I'm in a self indulged mood, why would I want to be rushed? Don't get me wrong, if I'm feeling lonely I LOVE it when people try to talk to me and I always welcome potential new friends eagerly, but sometimes I just want to be left to my wine and pizza. It's ok, I tip more when I'm on my own too ;)

So what do these things tell me about masturdating? Will I be able to face such daunting tasks if my singing takes me further afield and a personal Rachel is required? In short, yeah! What these observations have really shown me is that many situations are effected by mood and circumstance and at the end of the day that's fine. Life on the road may be lonely, but who's to say it has to be? And who's to say that time to yourself is such a bad thing? 

Now brb, my table for one is ready :)

Rachel Farago