And here's why
  1. I will wind up paying for a bunch of things that I don't eat
    I'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.
  2. 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.
  3. Once the food comes, everyone will feel obligated to comment on it more than usual
    Because 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.
  4. In especially hellish curcumstances, we have to cook our own food
    We 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.
  5. When you have a complicated relationship with food, you kind of don't want food to be the main event
    It'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.
  6. If you order an appetizer/pitcher/shared anything "for the table," you better be willing to pay for it
    No 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.
  7. You are not my family
    I can say this with confidence because no one in my family uses And sometimes, I don't even like eating family style with them.