We need to do something about lunch, people.
I sat in the Skyroom on the top floor of Macy’s the other day in a rare out-for-lunch moment with friends. We sat kittycorner from a mother and son. The woman appeared to be in her early 30s, the boy maybe 9, 10.
He was eating quite enthusiastically.
“Slow down,” his mother admonished, “no one's going to take it from you.”
He tried to slow down, taking a couple of careful bites, but moments later he was back at his previous pace. Quickly, efficiently, he smiled between bites at his mother as he made short work of his sandwich. She smiled at him, love in her eyes; and he covered his mouth as they laughed good-naturedly.
That kid was what we call “a good little eater”.
Watching the exchange made me smile, too; but it also got me thinking about the casual nature with which we treat our midday meal.
Let me ask you: Where did you go to school? Did they allow you to eat with utensils? If memory serves me correctly – and I think it does – I’m pretty sure we were forced to eat whilst in line, plastic-kerchiefed women plopping ice-cream scoops of mashed-potato-lime-gelatin-surprise into our outstretched hands.
As an aside, my father swore that, when he was young, lime Jello containing free-floating shredded carrot and celery, the whole thing topped with Miracle Whip – yes, Miracle Whip – was considered a dessert.
It changed how I looked at him.
And how was your lunch hour in your 20s? Did they pay you for that time? I continually managed to find jobs where you had to punch out for lunch.
Hmm. Would I like to clock-out to eat or would I like to have another seven dollars a day on my paycheck?
Even now, I have a hard time stepping away from my desk and often eat my lunch while setting up meetings and prank-calling my friends.
I hear, by the way, that lunch in Europe is different, that it is sometimes accompanied with wine and naps. I refuse to believe that, however, as it interferes with my ability to continue to work in the United States.
Anyway, that couldn’t possibly be true – could it?
And if it is, how do we institute that in Minnesota?
Let me know if you know who I should contact. I’m willing to get the ball rolling on this one.
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