Monday, January 19, 2009

Observations on Lunch (Day Eight, Paragraphs 8, 9 & 10)

Lunch is a meal fraught with drama. Much more drama than one would ever think to credit the midday repast with being capable of having. I think of this as I sit alone at my desk and eat half of a turkey sandwich I made this morning and jammed into a plastic bag with a mealy apple and a brown banana. At my current job, I used to eat lunch out with co-workers frequently - a few times a week. That is when I was "in" but now, as the description of my lunch attests, I am most certainly "out." Lunch is so political from the grade school cafeteria to the teacher's room lunch tables to the "power" lunch to the three-martini lunch to the ladies-who lunch.

Who one eats with at lunch is really a testament to ones social position. The table for one has been analyzed ad naseum, but seriously the choice to dine alone is certainly frowned upon - even when the diner reads a paper back book or furiously feigns to be doing "work" while slurping soup. Eating at the desk alone is just as sad a sight as it implies that the diner is not part of any social groups at work. This is the equivalent of a fourth grader eating with the cafeteria monitor because he doesn't fit into any of the cliques at school - but at least the kid has someone to commiserate with.

Eating lunch with other people is validating. The exchange of even mundane and mindless chit-chat confirms that in fact you are not invisible but that you are "in." Eating alone at your desk - not so much.

Photo credit: nateOne on Flickr

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