Paranoia About Eating Alone

Every Wednesday for the past few weeks I have been teaching a class. It starts at 7pm and is down the street from my office. This means I can’t go home in between work and class. This means I have to eat dinner alone.

There are some activities that I prefer to do alone (shopping, also known as exersizing my extreme indecision and perfectionist tendencies). There are some things I don’t mind doing alone (eating lunch: it’s a moment of zen in the middle of cubical stress). And then there are things I do alone where I’m paranoid that everyone else in the place is staring at me, wondering why I don’t have any friends. Eating dinner is one of those things.

Yesterday,  I went to Whole Foods after work. After I picked up my paper tray of chicken curry and green beans, I joined the line of 25 other people dressed in their work clothes carrying trays of pre-made food.  I’m convinced everyone is looking at me, nodding with the knowledge that I’ll be carrying my tray home, eating off my coffee table and watching some show about housewives. 

However, I threw them a curve ball! Rather than get my food to-go, I told the cashier I would eat at the cafe tables on the mezzanine. (Whole Foods has to be the only grocery store with a mezzanine.) Look at that, I felt I was shouting at her. I’m not sad and lonely; I’m busy. I’m working hard and can’t afford the time to go home and eat on my couch.

So take that Whole Foods express check out line! Watch me shatter your assumptions. That will teach you all to stare at me and peg me as a teary-eyed Bravo addict instead of a busy adult ed instructor with places to be.

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