No I Don't Want to Eat "Family Style"
And here's why
- •I will wind up paying for a bunch of things that I don't eatI'm a pescetarian who has zero interest in making other people accommodate their own meal around me. But I also feel like this should go both ways. Let me order my own damn dinner. In all family style settings that I haven't been able to avoid, I've just sucked it up and split it evenly.
- •I don't want to spend fifteen minutes hearing you say you could "just never give up meat"Because, first of all, yes you could. You absolutely could. That's like me saying I could never live without my iPhone. Millions of people live without an iPhone. Same goes for meat. You're not that special. And second of all, no one asked you to.
- •Once the food comes, everyone will feel obligated to comment on it more than usualBecause it's a "shared experience" and the evening is now centered around shoving our faces full of food. All other conversation must come to a standstill because we are above all grateful consumers who must thank the kitchen gods who prepared all of these tapas for us.
- •In especially hellish curcumstances, we have to cook our own foodWe pay for the privilege of holding raw meat in a vat of broth. Well, you do. I just soak some lettuce leaves in my own separate vat of broth which is actually water because I didn't want beef stock and the fish costs a lot more than lettuce and I don't want to be a burden because being a team player is crucial in social settings. We eat tiny piece by tiny piece. The lettuce does not fill me up. I am still eating when the bill comes.
- •When you have a complicated relationship with food, you kind of don't want food to be the main eventIt's only recently that I've trained myself to eat to nourish-- it used to feel like a punishment, any which way I approached it. Disordered eating and body issues run in my family, so I know I'm not alone or a freak, but it's taken a lot of extra mindfulness on my part. By all means, let's grab lunch together. But while we're doing it, let's talk about art, about goals, about the people we're people-watching. If you comment on what I've ordered, I will be thinking about that comment all week.
- •If you order an appetizer/pitcher/shared anything "for the table," you better be willing to pay for itNo head count, no "just venmo me." If you're sticking your neck out because you want a thing, then please follow through like an adult and pay for that item.
- •You are not my familyI can say this with confidence because no one in my family uses li.st. And sometimes, I don't even like eating family style with them.