Friday, January 28, 2011
Socially acceptable eating.......
this is what I am thinking about today.
Let me set the scene....
A business luncheon.
Seven corporate-y NYC types---we were hosting them for the day.
Three of my colleagues.
The Faculty Club--a buffet style, clubby type of place filled with academic types, educators, corporate partners, etc.
I am the last one to come to the table.
I sit across from a colleague who I just met for the first time and who was the lead host on the visit. She was very nervous that it would go just right. Afterall, these NYC corporate-y types were a big deal....to her.
On my tray is a small scoop of tuna salad, 2 cucumber slices, a cup of yogurt with 2 strawberry slices and a glass of iced tea.
Everyone else's trays were piled high with salads, rolls, main courses, pies, cakes.....well, you get the picture.
Ms. Corporate-y NYC Type #1 looks at my tray and asks "eating light today?"
Ms. Corporate-y NYC Type #2 glances over and says "looks like you are the only one who doesn't splurge! We should all be ashamed for eating so much!"
Ms. New Colleague Who I Just Met For the First Time gave me a quasi-stern look over the rim of her glasses.
I just smiled at everyone, made a quick reference to possibly going out to dinner later and left it at that.
A few moments later, Ms. Corporate-y NYC Type #1 begins talking about her personal trainer and how mortified he would be to see her eat so many calories. "But, he doesn't get it..." she mused "on expense account-will eat!"
Ms. Corporate-y NYC Type #2 chimed in. "Personal trainers don't eat, that's why he would be mortified!"
To which Ms. Corporate-y NYC Type #1 quipped "And they don't have expense accounts!"
Ms. New Colleague Who I Just Met For the First Time tried to corral the group back to talking "business" instead of lamenting over their bad eating habits.
But, that didn't last too long.
Upon noticing my plate of food for the first time, Mr. Coporate-y NYC Type #1--one of the males in the bunch--asked "is THAT ALL you are eating?"
Once again, I smiled and said I was going out to dinner later.
"SO ARE WE!!" he said with a very animated shrug of his shoulders.
My food consumption was making my lunch guests uncomfortable.
I could feel it in my bones.
Ms. New Colleague Who I Just Met For the First Time once again glared at me from the across the table.
I was feeling beads of sweat beginning to form on the back of my neck.
Why didn't I just get a full plate of food? I thought to myself.
But, what would I do with all the food I couldn't eat?
Throw it away?
That didn't seem very right.
Then vomit at the table?
I was caught between a morale dilemna and a professional dilemna and a Lapband dilemna.
And, it didn't feel good.
Miss Manners for Lapbanders....where are you when I need you?
I just knew what Ms. New Colleague Who I Just Met For the First Time was thinking.
She thought that I was being insensitive to our guests by not eating--thus making them feel badly about themselves.
And, I was right.....that is exactly what she was thinking.
How do I know?
She told me so.
Yes, just like that, as everyone was getting their coats together, she coyly leaned over the table and said in an agitated tone "next time, you might want to eat a bit more food.....okay?"
Sure, I could have punched her right there.
But, that didn't seem too socially acceptable.