I’ve been holding back as I don’t want to be the office Grinch, but it has come to a point where I can no longer stand by with my polite smiles and my nonchalant responses to the comments that are passed when I am preparing food in the staff room. So instead of making it an issue in the work break room, I’m venting it into the cypersphere 🙂
Here are some of the comments I’ve become accustomed to hearing when preparing my meals:
“oooh, what is that?” (imagine an upturned nose and a grimace rather than an interested coo of delight)
“do you know what I thought it looked like?”
“well, that looks….healthy”
“are you on some kind of diet?”
The difference between them and I? I eat healthy. My meals are made from scratch and without an abundance of chemical processes or additives, preservatives etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good additive every now and then (whatever that flavour on Cheetos is that turns them orange and makes me fiend for the whole bag – you’re evil and I love you!) but for the most part, I do my best to eat well.
Due to the gluten intolerance, my love/hate relationship with dairy and my inability to digest any kind of protein at an optimal level, my food ends up being less main stream than my colleagues.
But do they have to make comments EVERY time I’m making something?! I don’t look at their food and say out loud “wow, that looks like something I would NEVER eat.”
I know none of them mean to upset or insult me, and that’s not what I’m even getting at – I don’t feel insulted or judged or upset by the comments. It’s more the fact I have to give some kind of explanation as to what I’m eating and why I’m eating it EVERY SINGLE TIME I’M IN THE KITCHEN. Without fail. Every time. And I have to be nice about it, which I hate. Me and fake niceness don’t really go very well together. Especially not towards people who’ve known me for nearly a year and have been witnessing this “odd” food behaviour for months now.
Yes, maybe my breakfast smoothie (usually a fruit juice, berries, a banana, some pysillium husk and my Ultimate Greens powder which turns it a nice murky sludge colour) does look a little off colour and more along the lines of a glass of swamp poop, but must you imply that with your tones of repulsion? Or not even implied, but just outright said that it looks unappetizing. So does your face, but I don’t say it out loud. Plus no one really eats a face these days…so it’s out of context. You get where I’m going with that though, right?
One guy keeps joking about how I’m eating buckwheat again when he sees something he doesn’t recognise on my place. This is after I went through a phase of brown rice, broccoli, tuna and feta for lunch. To him, brown rice looked like buckwheat and now it’s funny. To him.
I was adding ground linseed to my breakfast a while back and one lady asked me what it was and when I told her she said “urrrrrgh” without even knowing what is was. She had the decency to ask what it was before passing further judgement and when I told her she said “yuck”. I laughed (because I am good natured) and asked her why she thought that was yuck and she said “it just was”. More like, it had the word “seed” in it and those are known to be healthy things. Gross. Seeds – who would DO such a thing?! EAT A SEED?! YOU MUST BE MENTAL!
Maybe it’s because I’m a foodie that I am more interested in the strange things that someone else might be eating. Enough to not be rude about it. Instead, taking a genuine interest in the hope of possibly discovering something exciting or interesting or really, really delicious.
But these people… They’re all grown ups, all up for some cheeky banter, which I can totally appreciate. And for a while it was nice they were paying attention to my weird and wonderful (not even…just healthier than theirs) foods but now it’s just annoying. I’ve worked here for about eight months and I eat “strange” things – please get over it. Please. I’m begging. Just shut up. Just walk past me, get your roast dinner that your wife cooked out of the fridge, shove it in the microwave, wait for the beep and then bugger off. Or you, with your cup of soup: just fuck off. Don’t talk to me, don’t cast your judgey eyes. Just take it for granted that I might be eating something that doesn’t look like a sandwich and move right along.
Also, don’t think you’re funny when you make snide comments about how I must be enthralled with the happenings of Emmerdale farm on the staff room tele while I wait for “Come dine with me” to come on so that I can stop thinking about work for an hour while I eat my buckwheat and pond slime smoothie. It’s old. I’m over it.