Thursday, October 05, 2006

Why is my lunch so fascinating?

Seriously. Why? I should preface this by saying I'm a vegetarian. I have my reasons for this, and if you're interested, I'll tell you. But I don't bring it up as a general rule--I'm not all up in people's faces proselytizing. Honest. If someone who doesn't know I'm a vegetarian invites me to their house for a meal, I'll tell them. A quick "just wanted to let you know I don't eat meat, but I'm happy to eat side dishes or bring a vegetarian dish to share." A little awkward, maybe, but much less so to me than having my host wondering if I just don't like their cooking. All my friends know my eating habits, and it's never a big deal. Some of them even get a kick out of cooking something special for me.

I've been a vegetarian for 12 years now, and I've been at my current job on and off for 10 years. I've been a vegetarian the entire time I've known my co-workers. So when does the novelty wear off? Most days I bring my breakfast with me to eat at my desk (I am SO not a morning person--who has time for a relaxed breakfast at home?). Occasionally I run errands at lunch and bring something back with me to eat at my desk. And, invariably, I am pelted with questions, first, and then a meat-eating joke, second. They want to know what I'm eating-- what it's called, what's in it, if it tastes as good as it smells and then, "So what kind of meat's in there-hahahaha!" It just happened again. While walking from my car to the door with a carry-out container, a co-worker called from across the parking lot "what's for lunch?" Then came inside, stood over me and watched me eat, asking questions the while. Falafel. Chickpeas. The green sprinkles are parsley. Pita bread. It's delicious. Often the answer is much less interesting: Ramen noodles. Oatmeal.

I just laugh and take it in stride, but I don't get it. I can't believe they haven't tired of this by now. Ten years, folks! They also eat breakfast at their desks, and lunch at their desks, so it isn't that I'm the only one eating around here. But I never ask them what they're having--'cause, guess what--I just don't care. (Unless it's a giant piece of chocolate cake or something, then I certainly want to know if there's any more where that came from. Hee.)

People are strange.

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