Wednesday, June 25, 2008

if you can't think of anything nice to say, don't comment on my lunch.

last friday afternoon, i got onto the elevator with my lunch. a plastic carton i'd filled up at our company's overpriced salad bar. i ride the elevator for a couple of floors. the elevator stops. a guy gets on.

it's friday. it's sunny. i'm in a good mood. i am friend to Everyman. sprinkling my sparkly cheer on any who come into my company. awkward silence in the elevator? no sirree! i won't have it! i am friendly! i make everyone comfortable! i will not stare at my shoes! i will not stare at the floor numbers as they change, feigning fascination with oh my! the pretty lights!

14, 13, 12, 11, 10.

"hi," i say.

"hi," he says.

i rest in a self-satisfied pause.

then he ruins it all. he looks at my lunch and says:

"wow. that's a BIG salad."

and i swear he says it as if he's never seen the likes of such a monstrous salad. so incredulous he is, i might as well have an entire double chocolate fudge cake heaving in my arms.

and frankly, that is my goddamn business and would be perfectly acceptable and fine too! BECAUSE IT'S MY FOOD, MY BODY AND MY CHOICE, and if MY BODY needs an entire chocolate cake, it needs an entire chocolate cake, and if MY BODY needs a 4,000 pound salad it needs a 4,000 pound salad sans commentary from YOU, mr. weeny man. i know you. you, who ate a smooth peanut butter (b/c the crunchy kind hurts your wittle, tiny, baby-sensitive gums) and grape jelly sandwich on white bread while sitting at your computer, crumbs dropping between the keys. you are the person whose keyboard we are all afraid to touch.

well! now i'm just being judgmental.

no matter.

FOOD COMMENTATOR. i hate food commentators.

wow, are you eating ALL OF THAT?

wow, is that ALL YOU'RE EATING?

i try to be understanding. he works in the Technology department of my company. he's pale and wan and awkward. maybe he's uncomfortable in this small, confined space, alone with a living, breathing being that and has boobs and smells like flowers and SweetTarts, but seriously, is this all he can think of to say?

so many other options.

like...

nothing. absolutely nothing is sooo much better.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

right on!
How did you reply to that though?

"Julia" said...

Keep up the friendliness.
Bask in the light of your personality's superiority.
Thank you for all you do,
"Julia"

Anonymous said...

argghhhh, moog i'm with you. every single night i work, i encounter this, either in silent or vocal appraisals, from all the disordered-eating folks with whom i work. and of course, i have those nights i struggle with the thought, "i'm just not gonna eat so i don't have to face it," or "if i get one more f-ing look i am gonna slather more butter on this piece of bread and cram it down her throat." it drives me crazy, literally.

Danielle Mari said...

You'll love this. I had a similar experience, standing on the el platform in Chicago after having played volleyball on the beach all day. This woman- a TOTAL stranger mind you- told me that I should... and I quote "really lose some weight! You are too heavy!"
Sigh. And when I looked at her as though horrified (because, well, I was horrified), she added- "Sometimes people say things that are hard to hear and you need to listen. They are only trying to help."

I told her that she should really be careful about giving out free advise, as she didn't know me. I could be suicidal. I could have a thyroid condition. I could have actually been 989 pounds a year ago but have lost a bunch of weight. I could (I leaned in close) be a very violent murderer.

Of course, none of those is true. I just like chocolate and use food as a drug. But I mean, REALLY!

Thanks for your blog and ESPECIALLY for your show on YouTube. I don't know you at all- but your work inspired me in creating my first one person show, too! ("Inconceivable! Adventures in Reproductive Endocrinology and Other Absurdities.")

Dan said...

Wow I had almost the exact same thing happen to me and wrote it on my blog. It sucks when people think they can judge what you eat.

RahadyanT said...

I never comment on people's food choices. I just plain think it's not my business.

I remember a senior editor commenting (as I was eating at my desk), "Jeez, it smells like dead fish in here!" I was eating pan fried filet of salmon with lemongrass sauce.

I no longer eat the foods of my people at my desk. Though I should have heartened myself with the Eleanor Roosevelt quote, "No one can make you feel inadequate withour your permission."