I went out to eat with my family on New Year's Eve. After running about thirty minutes late, my wife and I made it to the restaurant with two kids in tow. It actually worked out great because the rest of the family had just been seated as we were walking in. After saying our “Hellos” and giving hugs, we sat and ordered our drinks. Soon, thereafter, the wait staff came back to take our food orders. I was the last one asked what I’d like to order. I answered “Thank you but I’m not eating tonight.”
It was almost like the air got sucked out of the room, well, for those who heard me say it. Then, it was like a game of telephone where one person told the person next to them until everyone at the table heard. Next came the inquisition. “Why aren’t you eating?” “You need to eat!” “They have things you can eat here.”
The truth is, that there were things on the menu that I could eat. I’ve eaten there many times. The thing is, I just didn’t feel like eating what they had. I was hungry but I would've rather waited until I got home to make something that I knew I’d enjoy eating much more. I didn’t want to spend money on a plate that I wouldn’t fill me up and nourish me like what I had home.
This experience got me thinking about how much food has become a centerpiece in our lives, in our social gathering, it’s become an identity of sorts. This is not the first time I go to a restaurant and not order anything, My wife has become used to it and doesn’t question it. Why is it that we can’t have a good time without food being the centerpiece of a gathering of friends and family?
Don’t get me wrong, I eat. I eat a lot. And I like eating but it’s not a focal point of my life. There was a point in time where I absolutely enjoyed eating. It was to the point where it was going to kill me eventually. Food should provide nourishment for the body but society has turned it into a ritual, where we can’t function as social creatures without food being the focal point.
After everyone got over the fact that I wasn’t eating, it was an enjoyable visit with my family. We had great conversation while everyone ate and I sipped on my water. I don’t try to exclude myself by not partaking but I don’t think we need food to have a good time, to fellowship with the people that we care about.
I feel like our relationship with food and our relationship with people are backwards. While, I believe in eating for nutrition and nourishment, our focus has become more on eating and not the relationships we have with the people around us.
Accidentally Skinny. Purposefully Healthy.