Every man faces the prospect of spending time alone sometime—whether his wife or girlfriend is away or he’s just “in between” relationships.
Sometimes these lonesome days force a man to face the abyss of miserable, hard-to-fill hours. More often, the seclusion affords a welcome break to get projects done or to enjoy downtime—a reprieve from dull care. Ultimately, nobody wants to be alone, but occasionally solitude can be rewarding.
Full-service restaurants are seldom the best choice for the solitary diner. It’s not so much the stigma of eating alone on a Saturday night, but rather the uncomfortable business of occupying yourself while waiting for your order and then again while waiting for your check. Fast-food joints and buffets are the better way to go.
For the fastest food in town, try Chic-fil-A. While their chicken sandwiches haven’t quite lived up to their southern-fried hype—at least at the new KC location—the Savannah, Ga., chain’s lemonade is great; and its service is fast, friendly, and attentive.
For a complete meal eat at Sweet Tomatoes. Their buffet tables have everything a growing middle-aged man needs, from soup to nuts to salad to entrees to soft-serve ice cream.
If you dare attempt dinner and a movie, KC’s best bargain theater is the Merriam Cinemark. Built in 1997, as part of a poorly planned eminent domain project in Merriam Kan., the Cinemark features the same first-run movies, big stadium seats, and big sound systems of other new mainstream theaters.
Nobody likes driving to a theater alone to find a sold-out show or, worse yet, shelling out $10 to sit in the very first row. However, the Merriam location’s ticket prices are the cheapest in town ($6 evening/$4 matinee); the theaters never sellout, even for blockbuster movies on Saturday nights; and the parking is abundant.
Finally, hardware stores are a great place to while away a dreary afternoon if you’re working on a home project. However, if you just want to kill leisure time, try wandering through one of the sprawling Borders bookstores in Overland Park. You can spend an entire afternoon cruising the aisles for books. Just don’t camp out too long in one of the leather armchairs—those are reserved for the regular hardcore lonely guys.