Today there was an office holiday luncheon downstairs in the break room. For thirty minutes, I stayed upstairs at my desk, ignoring it. I knew exactly what was going to be spread out on those folding tables without even looking, because every work luncheon features exactly the same preservative-riddled delights purchased in bulk from Costco. The only thing that ever changes is what color of seasonally-appropriate frosting they slather on the goods. Who knows what even goes into that heavy, icky stuff? Ugh. I was better than that damn luncheon, dammit.
But after thirty minutes of enjoying how clever I was, I went in the bathroom and braced my hands on the counter. I leaned into the mirror and took a good, long look at myself. The sickly yellow potlights in the ceiling above cast my features in stark relief. I gazed at every harshly-lit pore, every wrinkle, every wayward nostril hair. And then I knew.
My god. I’ve become a food snob.
What happened to the person I used to be? The person who would have been all over the prospect of free food like 50 cent on Chelsea Handler?1 The person who would have furtively wrapped spiral-cut slices of ham in a napkin and shoved it into her handbag to eat later? The person who would have gladly feasted on four pieces of cold, limp garlic bread and loved every single damn second of it? Who am I anymore?
Then the other voice cut back in. “Come on,” it chided me. “Don’t you remember the last luncheon, before Thanksgiving? Don’t you remember how you went down there and spooned up all of the cheesy penne pasta, even though cheesy pasta has nothing to do with Thanksgiving but it was out there on the table anyway and you’ll be damned if you ever let cheesy pasta go unloved and unappreciated, and then you also sawed yourself off some hunks of cheesecake and pumpkin pie for good measure and you came back upstairs and snarfed it all down in twelve minutes while reading Twitter and then your heart started racing really fast and you got a stomachache? Do you really want to go through that again?”
Other voice? You need to edit yourself for run-on sentences. Next time try punctuation, you’ll like it. Also: YES. Yes, I did.
In conclusion: UGH.
1 My god, that was remarkably — if briefly — topical. I’m proud of myself.