Last weekend, it happened again. Out and about for the day and not in the mood to cook when I got home, I headed into a Dublin restaurant in the early evening.
"No, it's just me," I said to the approaching maître d' when I noticed his eyes looking over my shoulder for my non-existent companion. "A table for one, please."
"Oh," he said, before turning and leading me to a tiny table that was right beside the door to the toilets.
"No," I said firmly. "I don't want to sit here. I'd like to sit over there." And I pointed toward a slightly larger table halfway down the restaurant. Grudgingly, the maître d' gave in.
It's a syndrome I'm getting used to - being treated as a second-class citizen - as I learn, some four years after my husband's death, how to navigate the world of the solo diner.
Two years ago - even 12 months ago - I would have smiled at that maître d' and perched myself gratefully beside the toilets - at the worst table in the room.
Not any more.
Negotiating my way through the world as a solo diner or solo traveller has been an eye-opening experience.
At first it was difficult to do anything alone. Then I discovered that a book was a perfect dining companion.
Perfect, in that it keeps you engaged and not feeling that you just want to gobble down your food and run, and also perfect as an antidote to unwanted attention.
Travelling alone can be particularly difficult. And whatever the emotional aspect of suddenly being thrown, while overwhelmed with grief, into such an alien world, it's very easy to forget about the practical problems that also arise.
I never have anything more than a cup of coffee in a self-service airport outlet any more because trying to balance a laden tray with one hand, while pulling a small case behind you with the other, and with a handbag to boot, is just not worth the hassle.
Leave your bag at a table, I hear you say. Well, no, actually - maybe it's because I grew up in the North, but I would simply never, ever consider leaving my bag unattended in any airport.
Which is why I am delighted that Dublin Airport has decided to trial a new initiative, purely for the benefit of solo travellers.
So take a bow, MySpot, a new two-pronged, dedicated seating arrangement, currently being tried out at one of the departure gates in Terminal 1.
There are two options - a seat, with a combination-lock compartment where you can leave your belongings while you stroll to the cafeteria and enjoy a proper breakfast, or do a bit of shopping, without having to engage in Houdini-like manoeuvres while also carrying your luggage.
Option two, meanwhile, is a lockable pod, complete with desk and also providing, of course, a certain degree of privacy.
Solo travellers are on the rise, with Travel Department reporting a 16pc increase this year and the British operator Abercrombie & Kent recording a 60pc leap over the last five years.
Whether it's people like me who have had travelling solo thrust upon them, or women of a certain age who are no longer prepared to sit at home because, as one friend recently told me, "sure, he won't go anywhere", solo travellers are a rising market. And it's good to see the industry responding to that need.
Now, if only restaurateurs would also get their act together. And hoteliers too. For just because you're on your own doesn't mean you're happy to wake up and pull back the curtains, only to take in that wonderful view of the refuse bins.