Thursday, March 11, 2010

I feel --- Full.

I've decided that "Going to Lunch" is my new job.

It's a hard job -- in the sense of scheduling, deciding where to go, and then once there, "what to order?"

Such stress!!!!

These are big decisions -- I can't just wave them away like they are unimportant matters -- these are serious, serious issues and decisions. This is my citizen's way of helping with the stimulus plan.

Obama! I'm giving you my "change."


For years as a school teacher, I packed my lunch.

I tried eating in the cafeteria -- but the rolls alone were contributing to my own rolls -- so I packed my lunch -- it saved money, time, and fat calories.

At some point, I simplified what I packed partly due to my busy schedule (more decisions), and I began to pack the same thing every day for lunch -- my lunch consisted of a hard boiled egg, 8 Saltine crackers, an apple (if in season) and a measly 4.5 oz can of V-8.

Every day, I ate that.

I actually looked forward to it -- it was satisfying -- and pretty healthy.

Friends: Ugh, I don't see how you eat that every day.
Me: I'm just that disciplined.

It doesn't matter that in school buildings -- if you were hungry -- there were vending machines with "Dangerously Cheesy" crackers, Doritos, or candy bars, Diet Cokes, and, of course, folks always were bringing in treats of cookies or cake.

If a treat was placed on a table in a teacher's workroom, teachers circled it like vultures and hacked at it with their greedy paws. Ultimately, there was no knife (weapons policy-- LOL), so we whacked at food with the puny effectiveness of plastic knives.

Other teachers whom I ate lunch with would bring in leftovers (pot roast, pizza, chicken), and they would patiently stand in line to use the microwave --- eating up minutes (no pun intended) of their precious twenty-four minute lunch period -- and I would be done with my boring lunch in under three minutes and ready to use the extra time to swap stories.

I admit I would eyeball their good looking lunches with envy, but I recognized that food was just fuel for wielding my red pen ---- the egg, Saltines, fruit of the season, and V-8 gave me that much energy.

*raises a pen in memory*
*wipes tear from eye*

Sometimes, I would supplement my diet with a mid morning granola bar or a cup of strawberry banana yogurt. In the late afternoon, if I was there, moving ungraded papers around on my desk, I would search my purse for change and pling it in the vending machine for a Snickers or pack of crackers. Wiping the crumbs from the top of the papers, it would give me that boost to perhaps finish grading a stack of vocabulary quizzes or make some copies.

No cryin' over those days -- even though I do miss the Snickers.

But now, I am out in the world, spending money, tipping servers, and eating out ---- spending all that hard earned money that I saved for thirty-three years for retirement.


I hope I won't need that extra money at the old, too mean to die teacher's home -- where it might make the difference between a loud roommate or a choice of dessert?


Each morning, I talk to my sister on the phone -- while she's on her way to work. Our roles have reversed --- she used to talk to me on my way to work, but now she's working, and I'm not.

*does a jig*

Anyway, she said, "Do you go out to lunch everyday?"

Me: Not everyday.
Sister: It seems like it.
Me: Seems is not is -- even though they are both linking verbs.
Sister: What?
Me: No, I am not going out to lunch everyday, but sometimes I go twice a week, sometimes three, and sometimes.... well, more.
Sister: How do you do that?
Me: It's VERY hard.


Last week, I went out lunch six times in seven days, but it was a banner week.

Monday -- David and I were in North Carolina --- lunch with Pat and Jane in Hillsoborough at Tupelo's. I had homemade chicken salad, and David had a turkey and brie melt. {See photo}

Tuesday: David and I ate at Cracker Barrel in Spartanburg, SC. with Jennifer our "lookee at the snow" waitress. I had a chicken club, and David had a hamburger.

Wednesday: My nephew and I went to Longhorn to discuss his options after graduating from college, Obama (he loves politics), why some people are seriously bad at being waiters, Halo, and other members of the family. He had steak, and I had a loaded baked potato and salad.

*whew -- I was doing a lot of chicken*

Thursday: Wingate and I went to Biscayne Bay and sat for three hours -- we made our waitress so nervous -- she checked with us nine times to make sure we didn't want dessert. Nine times we said, "No, thank you." I had fried shrimp, hush puppies, coleslaw, and French fries -- Wingate had the same except her shrimp was Jumbo. I don't do Jumbo Shrimp -- it sounds like an oxymoron... plus it's so chewey. Ugh.

Friday: Aww -- no lunch out -- but Danielle and I had a pedicure.

*wiggles toes*

Saturday: Kit, Cindy (girls from Bible study), and I went to lunch at California Dreamin'. I had a shrimp wrap and French fries. We discussed ---- the gamut -- but Cindy told a story about a "doo rag ' and a man on a motorcycle that was VERY interesting. Kit had a club while Cindy had the fish sandwich.

Sunday: David and I went to Grapes and Beans in Clayton, Georgia, where our mountain house is -- this is our Sunday ritual when we are at our house. We buy a New York Times and gossip with the owner. We order a hummus plate (the best in the state of Georgia) -- David has whatever the special is -- usually something with Tofu or bean sprouts, and I always have the vegetarian pita with cheese.


That's a lot of going out to lunch.

*pats stomach*

I feel full.


  1. Eating out is definitely very hard. My last semester of high school, I would go home to eat lunch four days a week for about two months for that reason. Magnet Internship/Research was awesome mostly for that reason.

  2. It is really nice to see that you are treating yourself a little. You deserve it!

  3. Being retired sounds really rough ;)