Food and loathing

More than a decade ago, I started a job after being not-employed for many months. I was far from being back on my feet financially. That would take hears.

However, in those early days, there was a group lunch for somebody’s baby shower or who knows whatever it was.

I was broke and barely able to afford the cheapest thing on the menu. I drank water and didn’t eat the appetizers or grab a wine glass, just so I wouldn’t have to share in the cost.

At the end of the meal, the head boss decided to split the bill evenly among all 20 people. My $10 meal became $30.

I didn’t have dinner that night. or the next.

My boss at the time looked at me and said, “You should have eaten the appetizers.”

I think of that story often when I get invited places. Now in the age of debit and credit cards, most servers know to give people separate bills.

I thought of that as I said no to an invitation recently. Where I knew I didn’t even have to pay. I just had no appetite for pretending I was in a good mood and that everything was OK.

The thing is, even when someone else is paying, I still eat cheap. I shoot poison arrows at someone like the kid who will order not only the most expensive thing on the menu, but two of them.

I think he follows the idea to just eat the damn appetizers already. You pay for it one way or another.

So I really am just depriving myself, I guess, when I say no to the appetizers … or to a meal I want instead of just a cheap one … or to the meal itself.

I don’t know. I like to think I’m doing the right thing all the time. By by whom am I doing right? Because if it isn’t me, then who?

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