I judge you by what you eat

English: Paul Draper thieving wine from a barr...

In my quest to use the most random pictures ever, here is another. I just like it because this dude is so excited to drink wine. I understand, man! Image via Wikipedia

You’re probably all wondering where I’ve been.  I mean, here I was, counting down to this momentous event, and now it’s come and gone and you haven’t heard a word.  Blame it on the trials of modern technology — i.e. my slow computer and using an internet connection that is not my own and therefore I have no control over it.

I survived.  I had a few glasses of wine (Friday AND Saturday), had a rather wicked headache over the weekend (which could be from the alcohol or from me throwing my neck out, probably a bit of both) and am back at work.  I still feel pretty good (well, to be honest, I’m a little sleepy today, but that’s from not sleeping well due to screwy neck.)  Life is good.  I’ve had a few things that I couldn’t eat before (yes, I know, that isn’t how I’m supposed to be proceeding) and thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it.

I’ve also learned a few things and have a few pieces of advice to pass on to you if you should ever decide to embark on a similar experiment:

(1) Be very clear when you are eating somewhere else about what your limitations are.  People don’t judge you by your food choices as much as you think.  I had a lunch meeting yesterday and ordered a salad and the catering company decided that I could eat dairy and I ended up with a lot of cheese and blue cheese dressing.  I ate around it very carefully and would normally feel weird about it, but since they knew about my allergies it wasn’t an issue.  If you can’t eat gluten, say so.  If you can’t have dairy, tell them.  But keep in mind…

(2) Don’t make a big deal out of your food.  Seriously, this will be the only subject you will talk about, so try to minimize the annoyance factor and don’t FREAK OUT if something has a little dairy on it.  Remove it as best you can and don’t comment too much.  It’s very annoying to those around you, and potentially yourself.

But also…

(3) Everyone and their mother (especially their mother) is going to comment on your food.  Seriously.  Everyone wants to know what you’re eating and then when you tell them they’ll say “Oh!  That looks good!” in that tone that implies that they are shocked that something can be delicious and good for you at the same time.  This will happen all the time.  You will be very grateful for your quiet meals at home without commentary.

My favorite story about this was the other day at work.  I eat some weird stuff for breakfast (as you know) and was enjoying my meat and squash when one of my students came into my office.  She says whatever she’s thinking and it usually isn’t socially acceptable.  “What’s that SMELL?” is what she said, and when I replied that it was my breakfast she said, “That sure doesn’t smell like breakfast!”  Yes, you are right.  But I swear it’s just food.  (My boss thought this was hilarious.  It was probably what he’d been thinking for weeks.)

I’m usually rather food judgey – but that’s mostly because I love food porn.  Yes, I judge you a little by what you eat (sorry) but that’s only if you’re eating all fast food or something.  Mostly I’m jealous.  But it’s amazing to me how many people feel it’s appropriate to comment on what I’m eating.  And actually, I think it’s a little sad.  Does that mean that we’re so used to “convenience” food for lunch that a real meal is that surprising to us?

So I guess the moral of this story is that you need to expect others to judge you by what you eat but no more than what you usually judge them.  Or, you can just stay at home all the time and not eat anywhere in public and then you’ll not only avoid accidental gluten/dairy/soy/high fructose corn syrup poisoning but also other people all together.

Clearly I’m still working a few things out.

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