Okay, I thought our planned ‘work arounds’ for my father-in-law’s visit was going to be the end of the dilemmas. Nope, it’s not. My coworkers are planning a small party for the Assistant Vice President of our unit who is making a lateral transfer. And guess what the celebration idea is…yes this is a rhetorical question. I can’t believe it! I haven’t had so many occasions to eat out socially ever in my life and now it seems I am being faced with this scenario every other week.
I actually hesitate to tell people that I am participating in a “no takeout” challenge. Partly I feel a little embarrassed, like I am exposing myself (to their judgement maybe??). But inevitably, I end up confessing my no takeout pledge. Ironically, the people who I end up telling have nothing but positive feedback and are encouraging. Usually they throw in a good chuckle. 🙂
Thirty nine days into this challenge, I am having a few realizations. (1) we live in a culture of convenience (this is obvious), but the degree to which food (specifically dining out, grabbing a bite, having coffee, etc…) has become a mechanism to socialize, is huge. I generally participate without second thought. I had not realized how much of my social life revolves around food and spending money.
(2) Not eating outside of the home actually places a person/family outside of mainstream culture (at least here in Upstate NY). Most people in my acquaintance would not take this challenge. In fact, the majority of people I know eat outside of the home, order takeout, grab lunch or morning coffee, on a daily basis. Thirty-five years ago (1977-1978), people got about 18 percent of their daily calories from prepared foods while today that figure is near 50% (http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=2894).
I have mentioned before that my husband and I only own one vehicle – by choice. This is also inconceivable to most families I know.
I’m curious…do you have any aspect(s) of your daily life that falls outside of the mainstream norm?